Antiques Roadshow stops at Winterthur

They brought furniture, baseball card collections, paintings and watches.

They came with clocks, jewelry, and all sorts of collectibles.

The lines were long but festive Tuesday as PBS's Antiques Roadshow, one of the longest-running reality shows, stopped at Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library to record for future episodes of the program that will air sometime in 2020.

An estimated 3,000 people were able to get tickets. They included Jeanne and her daughter Mary, from several states away.

Jeanne brought a painting for appraisal, as well as an unusual small table. 

"It was a little triangular table that belonged to my husband's grandparents. It's kind of unusual - the leg on it is a beautifully-carved, scantily-clad woman, with her arms spread as wings" Jeanne said.

She found out that it was a piece of Victorian Revival furniture, likely from the 1930s or 1940s.

Jeanne's daughter, however, took the lead in trying to get into Antiques Roadshow.

 "I'm going against the grain. I like older things. I like the idea of using what we have and not buying something new when something was made, perhaps better, a few decades ago," Mary said.

According to Antiques Roadshow Executive Producer Marsha Bemko, about 25 people will make it into each of the three programs that will result from hours of appraising and recording at Winterthur.

"We have seen some fabulous things here today, both regional objects and things you'd see anywhere," Bemko said. 

Tuesday's event was also the conclusion of a current Antiques Roadshow tour, which brought the show to more historic, intimate locations compared to the usual setting of a convention center.

"We love doing it in these environments. Winterthur has embraced us, allowed us and our 3,000 friends in to play house with them," Bemko said. 

The opportunity to appraise was also a homecoming of sorts for Andrew Brunk. He now runs an auction house in North Carolina, but received his master's from Winterthur's program in Early American Culture.

"It's interesting what people choose to bring in," Brunk said. He added that people often have questions about how and where something in the family was made.

Rarity, condition and design also play into another often-asked question: how much is it worth?

"People are realistic often about the value of what they have. They know it's not going to be life-changing," Bemko said. "They really want to know, was it made in the South? Was it made in America? Was it made in the North? When was it made? Of course, value is something they want to learn, too."

"To me, the satisfaction is in a sense of discovery, not knowing what someone might walk in the door with," Brunk said. 

"Interacting with the people who have a history with the objects is always interesting."

Reporter - Anchor

Mark Fowser is a veteran journalist in Delaware.