An excited young boy finds a painting and believes he can make a few bucks with it, but when he gets it appraised, he discovers that he made a really good purchase.
When the cameras start to roll on this particular day in 2013, David Weiss doesn’t realize he’s about to initiate one of the most interesting interviews he has ever done. As the leading expert on the American version of the show Antiques Roadshow, he has plenty of experience working with reputable auction houses. The young boy he was about to interview seemed calm. So, he started the interview just like others he’d done in the past.
Trash is Trash or Is It?
Weiss started on his journey of antique trading when he was very young. However, on this day, he didn’t know how lucky he would be.
Will I be Rich?
Most participants appear on this type of show because they want to become rich. Unfortunately, many of the items up for appraisal have no value. Their dreams of making cold cash are dashed. But this young boy wanted Weiss to give his item a wonderful appraisal.
Solving the Mystery
Antiques Roadshow participants are intrigued with the stories associated with their items. This is why they don’t mind standing in line to get details about their finds. For some, they want to know if their special family heirlooms are actually valuable. But for others who’ve found items in flea markets or garage sales want to know if they can make loads of money from their purchases or finds.
Getting All the Details
For those in the business of appraising items on shows such as Antiques Roadshow, they know there is a special process involved. Not only do they have to tell a story about the items, but they also have to show how these items were discovered by the participants. They must interview the guests and get them to tell them everything they know about the items being appraised. This makes for great ratings.
Traveling to Get a Jackpot
The young boy on today’s episode had traveled a long way to get an appraisal for an item he paid a whole two dollars for. It is advised that amateur antique collectors get professional appraisals before selling something that could be worth a lot of money; however, many ignore this recommendation. This explains why there are so many valuable items being sold at antique shops or flea markets for such low prices. This is what happened to the young boy on this episode. He bought an item just like this.
How the Boy Heard About Antiques Roadshow
First aired in the UK in 1979, Antiques Roadshow became a popular hit television show. It was so popular that many copycat shows debuted in the United States. This is how the young guest learned about shopping for antiques at such a young age.
Taking Advantage of Experience
For over thirty years, David Weiss has been a reputable expert in the field of European art. He is especially known for dealing with sculptures, drawings, and paintings. But he is also knowledgeable about Oriental rugs. If anyone could tell whether or not the young boy had a valuable piece, one of the best people to do it was Weiss.
A Part-Time Job
For Weiss, along with others, volunteered his services on the show. It was a part-time job in addition to his main job at the Freeman Auction House where he serves full-time as the Senior Vice President. He got this position and title after working for another auction house near Washington D.C. In addition, he teaches art from a business perspective at Drexel University.
Feeling Enthusiastic About Discoveries
Weiss’ bio on the Freeman Auction House website says that his passion is finding surprising antique finds, especially ones that come from private estates and collectors. It goes on to say that the best finds command the most money. With this in mind, we knew that today was going to be a very successful and happy day for him.
Learning the Guest’s History
Just like he questions all guests who bring items to be appraised, he asked the boy what he knew about the painting. Weiss told him that he was most likely the youngest person he has ever seen on the show. The young guest responded by saying that he was probably right. Although his guest was very young, he was impressed with how calm and confident he was. He was also piqued about his interest in antiques.
Getting Ready for the Big Day
When he found out that the show was filmed in Virginia, the boy pleaded with his parents to take him there. He thought he could probably get a couple of hundred for the painting. It was a long drive from Jersey, but he finally convinced his parents to take him to a show. They even helped him pick out the best shirt to wear on camera, which was red and attention grabbing.
The Interview Starts
The young guest was so happy that his strange hobby might provide a positive outcome. Weiss liked that this wasn’t just a one-time junk purchase made by the boy. As a matter of fact, the boy was a long-time antique collector. Weiss asked what items he liked collecting the most. The boy said that he loves to collect art, glass and sterling silver.
Weiss wanted to learn exactly how the boy became interested in collecting antiques. He asked him where he found his antiques. He learned there is a junk auction in the boy’s city. As the interview went on, Weiss learned more and more things about the boy. He figured that if the boy was this interested in collecting antiques, then he must have a lot of things in his possession. However, the boy’s answer surprised him.
A Choosey Collector
Weiss learned that he was dealing with a mature collector. He asked if he kept most of his finds. This is a common question because many antique collectors love to sell just as much as they like to collect. A majority of young collectors probably keep most of their stuff. Usually kids like to hold on to junk, especially if they form some type of emotional attachment to it.
Keep or Sell?
Weiss was surprised by the boy’s answer. He said that he likes to sell them on the internet. Weiss couldn’t believe his answer. As a result, he repeated the boy’s answer. Was he really this knowledgeable about the business side of collecting antiques? He knows how to collect and when and how to sell them? Weiss knew that this young man was someone you couldn’t forget. He wanted to understand and learn he could about his guest before appraising his painting.
Planning to Sell Later
As time went by, Weiss grew even more interested in the young boy. He wanted to see how he chose his keepsakes. Which ones did he sell? Which ones did he keep? He decided to ask the boy about the things he liked to collect. He wanted to know the amount of money he’d made from silver sales. It didn’t surprise him when the boy said that he would wait until September to sell his silver. The said the market might fluctuate until then.
Scoping Out an Art Piece
The story of how the boy got the painting was very mind blowing. Weiss thought that he picked it up from a neighborhood garage sale. No, the boy begged his father to go to an auction house that specialized in junk. He wanted to bid on one of their art pieces.
A Unique Summer Day
The boy said that it was so hot that day that his dad didn’t want to stick around to get the painting, but he did. He says that it was only two dollars and he believed there was a story associated with the painting. He really didn’t know its history, which is why he wanted to appear on Antiques Roadshow.
A Seemingly Ordinary Painting
The actual painting looks like an ordinary painting. However, Weiss knew what to look for when trying to appraise a painting. When he looked at the canvas painting, it was easy to see the plain earth colors. It shows a mother reaching for her child while she is sitting in a chair. The child is also sitting in a chair. But the young boy missed one important thing when looking at the painting.
Taking a Further Look
Weiss didn’t stop testing his young guest. He wanted to know if he was truly knowledgeable about art. He liked his guest’s demeanor and was fascinated that he chose a painting that most kids would have ignored. The boy told Weiss that after purchasing the painting, he surmised that it was a watercolor. But it was hard to know for sure because the painting was framed in glass. Now it was time for Weiss to do his job.
Testing His Skills
His young guest was right. The painting was a watercolor. Not only was he smart enough to watch silver prices, he also knew how to build an art collection. But he didn’t have that much experience, and that was a flaw. Weiss wanted the boy to appraise his own painting. He wanted to put the child’s expertise to the test.
Figuring Out Missing Information
The first thing the boy did was mention the signature at the bottom of the painting, but he couldn’t read all of it. He automatically knew what the last name was but not the first. Weiss wanted him to take another crack at identifying the name instead of immediately telling him what it was. Weiss asked him to spell it out.
Boy Buys A Dusty Painting- Then Realizes Who It’s By
Before he made the final appraisal, Weiss wanted to talk more about the painting. He wanted to know the boy’s insights about the painting. What could he see? What was he thinking? Weiss also wanted to give him a few facts about the painting’s history. He could tell that the boy really liked art and felt he could become an industry professional. He was amazed that the boy had identified part of the painting’s signature. Finally, Weiss told the boy that it was painted by Albert Neuhuys. Thus, the boy buys a dusty painting- then realizes who it’s by.
Taking the Work Apart
Neuhuys was a 19th century Dutch painter who specialized in paintings with home settings, especially those with mothers and their children. He was a member of the Laren School and was interested in the country lifestyle. At that time, the world around him was turning more industrial every day. This is why he loved his specialty.
The Peacefulness of Country Life
His paintings depicted peaceful country settings, which appealed to many people. This is why his paintings sold very well. His scenes were of people like mothers and their children. They also included farmers tilling their land. Neuhuy’s paintings were showcased in some of the best art museums in the world, and the boy had one of them.
How Old is It?
Weiss gave the boy additional info, which helped him with the appraisal. He told him the dates of Neuhuy’s birth and death. Weiss said the painting was probably done during the last part of the 19th century. His young guest was never able to pinpoint the painting’s age on his own. Weiss could tell the boy was very appreciative of the new information.
What Do You Think?
How much do you think it’s worth? Participants on Antiques Roadshow are always asked this question before the appraisal experts provide an answer. Usually the guests don’t provide the correct answer, which is why they are on the show in the first place. But this doesn’t always apply to everyone. Weiss wanted the boy to make an educated guess about the painting’s value.
The Moment has Come
Finally, Weiss asked the boy a very important question. “How much do you think it is worth?” The time had come, and the anticipation was getting worse. The boy had done a lot to get to this point such as driving hours to get here and standing in line to get on the show. The boy’s answered with a simple “Hundred and fifty bucks.”
Weiss repeated his answer and said he thought it was worth more. Everyone in the room could tell the boy was eager to know the correct value. Weiss told him “Today, if your Albert Neuhuys watercolor came to an auction, it would probably sell for about $1000 to $1500.” His young guest’s eyes got very big.
The boy was shocked and said “whoah.” He couldn’t believe what he’d heard. It was easy to tell the boy knew a good piece when he saw it, even if his appraisal skills were somewhat lacking. He could work on this later. Weiss said it was a lot of money for someone who only paid two dollars for it. He also wanted to give his guest more information.
Weiss told the boy he had a bright future as an art dealer. This really made the boy happy. He agreed with Weiss’ assessment of his talent. The boy said he would be rich someday. Weiss said it was definitely a possibility if he knew this much already for his age.