Monday, July 13, 2015

Local Hidden Treasures Uncovered by 'Antiques Roadshow' Crew

In 1902, a blue-and-white stoneware bowl engraved with the words “Love is the Sweet Wine of Life” was commissioned as a wedding present for a couple to be married later that year. A century later, the same bowl showed up in Cleveland at the 2002 Antiques Roadshow where it struck a chord with executive producer Marsha Bemko. “It had these words on it that will endure forever,” says Bemko. “You get jaded as a Roadshow producer. We see things of things of tremendous value. It’s the stories that start to rock my boat.” On July 11, Antiques Roadshow filled the Cleveland Convention Center with more hidden treasures, family heirlooms and rare trinkets for appraisal. Of the 6,000 Northeast Ohioans who carted their antiques through the long appraisal lines, only a small portion will be featured in three upcoming one-hour episodes of PBS' Antiques Roadshow. These three regional finds made the cut.

Louis Baus Sketches

Photo by Meredith Nierman for WGBH, (c) WGBH 2015
Born in 1875, Louis Baus was a well-known photographer for The Plain Dealer. Before capturing 40 years of Cleveland history from behind the camera lens, a 15-year-old Baus drew intricate color sketches of American and Players league baseball teams, including the Cleveland Indians. Grant Zahajko appraised a collection of these sketches for $1,500-$2,500. “In 1890, that’s all they had,” says Zahajko. “We take it for granted today that we can just pull out our smartphones and take a picture.”

Mahoning County Harvest Jug

Photo by Meredith Nierman for WGBH, (c) WGBH 2015
Wes Cowan, a Cincinnati-based appraiser with an auction house in Warrensville Heights, was most excited by a Mahoning Valley clay jug from the 1880s. The jug, appraised for $4,000-$6,000, is special because it was inscribed with the names of its maker and owner. This type of pottery was called bluebird pottery because when bluebirds returned to the area for the season, the clay was ready to be mined. “When the bluebirds come, it’s time to get out and get in the kiln and make some pottery,” says Cowan. “When the bluebirds leave, you’re done.”

Indians World Series Ticket Stubs

Photo by Meredith Nierman for WGBH, (c) WGBH 2015
In 1920, the Cleveland Indians won their first World Series against the Brooklyn Robins. During Game 5, the Indians hit the first ever Series grand slam, and they pulled off the first and only Series unassisted triple play. Today, two ticket stubs from the Series-winning game are worth $2,000, according to appraiser Simeon Lipman. “World Series tickets from 1920 are very scarce,” says Lipman, “and it was Game 7, the last game, the winning game.”

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