Framingham Online News

Antiques Roadshow Premiers 10th Season on Monday Night

Filed under: Around Town by Deb Cleveland at 9:39 pm on January 8, 2006

FRAMINGHAM, MA - PBS’s Antiques Roadshow begins its tenth season on Monday night, January 9 with new host Mark L. Walberg. This show, which revolutionized the way TV viewers felt about antiques, history, and the experts who love them, had its beginnings in Concord, and Bolton, Massachusetts. It has made some local experts household names.

In 1992, a pilot, loosely based upon the original Antiques Roadshow produced in England, was filmed at the Skinner auction gallery in Bolton, Mass. Monty Hall, well-known game show personality, and antiques collector, was the host, and ”The Great American Treasure Hunt” the working title. Over 700 people showed up. The pilot was shopped as a commercial program, but had no takers.

Then WGBH-TV, Channel 2, Boston became interested in the program, a sponsor was found, and five top auction houses, including Skinner, Inc., committed to collaborating on the venture.

On June 1, 1996, Concord again made history as the site of the inaugural filming of the first stop of the roadshow. Hundreds of New Englanders toting family heirlooms and what-its converged on the Concord Armory. Awaiting them inside was the unprecedented gathering of the top experts from the antiques world and a PBS TV crew to record the proceedings. The turnout was small enough that people were encouraged to run home and bring in more items. Not so small that several treasures were uncovered, as well as a lesson from the Keno brothers in how much the value decreases when you refinish an early piece of furniture.

Since that day, many appraisers from Skinner, including ceramic and pottery expert Stuart Slavid, of Framingham, and doll specialist Dorothy McGonagle, of Sudbury, have been a part of the Antiques Roadshow phenomenon. Gary Sohmers, of Framingham’s WexRex pop culture fame, pops up frequently on the show and is featured on some of the web videos on the Antiques Roadshow section of the WGBH website.

Check the Roadshow web pages for a timeline and highlights of the show’s ten year run as well as information about this year’s season and where the show will travel this summer.

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