A Mystery Bust, Musical Instruments and Pricey Art on 'Antiques Roadshow'

Carson Kressley on Antiques Roadshow

PBS.org

The secret to hitting it big on Antiques Roadshow seems to be all about buying the right item at the right time. And this week, several of the celebrity guests really hit the sweet spot when it comes to antiquing. While not all were “winners” in the same sense, they loved learning about their treasures almost as much as we loved watching them. Let’s recap the May 24th episode featuring TV host Carson Kressley, actor Gbenga Akinnagbe, humorist Mo Rocca, and musicians Paquito D’Rivera and Brenda Feliciano.

Carson Kressley’s 'Equestriana' Collection

The Roadshow appraisal experts joined the Get a Room With Carson and Thom co-host / former Queer Eye personality at his family horse farm in Pennsylvania to look over some of his family heirlooms. Kressley’s family had been there since the 1700s and collected lots of horse memorabilia over the years.

Most notably was his horse-riding gear formerly owned by Jackie Kennedy. Kressley paid $400 for two halters and a horse blanket. The appraiser found a 1988 photo of Kennedy riding with her kids that proved the authenticity of the items. He can insure them for $2,500-$5,000 each, and they’d each go for $1,000-$2,000 or more at auction. 

Kressley made a great buy on a horseshoe shaped lapel pin he bought over quarantine. The large pin was from the Edwardian era and was likely made around 1910. It features 43 European cut diamonds at 5 carats. He paid $1,500 for it, but it’s worth $4,000-$5,000.

His instinctual good taste in antiques can be seen in a purchase he made when he was only 13 years old. It was an oil lamp from the 1890s, featuring a male mermaid. He paid $250 for it in 1983. Today it’s worth $900-$1,000. 

Finally, he had two precious signs appraised that hail back to when his family raised ponies. They can be insured for about $1,250 total. 

Actor Gbenga Akinnagbe’s Artwork by Titus Kaffar 

In Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, the appraisers caught up with The Wire actor to look at several pieces from his collection, including photos, art and furniture. 

Akinnagbe actor was speechless when he learned that a piece of art that he only paid $1,000 for at auction is worth $30,000. It was a collage by popular artist Titus Kaphar.

His collection of Muhammad Ali photos was also appraised for $1,500-$3,000 each. One from 1964 features the famous boxer with The Beatles. The next photo was of the famous “phantom punch” that knocked out Sonny Liston. It includes an authentic Ali signature. Last, is a photo of Ali knocked down in the ring during a fight against Joe Frazier. He paid $4,000 total for all of them.

A chair and ottoman set that Akinnagbe had reupholstered with fabric from South Africa was also appraised. The chair is from the fourth quarter of the 19th century and is valued at $2,000. The ottoman is by 19th century cabinet maker Duncan Phyfe and is worth $500.

Humorist Mo Rocca’s Mysterious Bust of 'Grover Cleveland' 

In Manhattan, New York, CBS correspondent and author had several pieces appraised that relate to his love of American history. 

First was a bust he affectionately calls “Grover Cleveland” that he paid $150 for. Rocca was convinced it was Cleveland, until The New York Times and Cleveland’s own grandson denied its authenticity. The experts confirmed that it isn’t Cleveland after all, but weren’t able to identify who the man is. The mystery continues, leaving it valued at a couple hundred dollars.

His next piece of American treasure was a ticket to the senate trial impeachment of Andrew Johnson, who assumed office after Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. They gave out 1,000 tickets per day and used a different color each day. The appraiser knew it was authentic because tickets for April 3 had red ink printed on a yellow background. It’s now worth $400.

Last, Rocca’s neckerchief from the 1880s of Benjamin Harrison and Levi Morton’s election campaign was appraised. He paid $300 for it and it’s worth $100-$200.

Musicians Paquito D’Rivera and Brenda Feliciano’s Musical Treasure Trove

In a New Jersey suburb of New York City, Roadshow experts met up with the Grammy Award- winning couple to look at several instruments and pieces of art from their collection.

The first to be appraised were three of D’Rivera’s saxophones. First was a Martin tenor saxophone owned by his father. It’s the horn that inspired him to be a musician, he said. Today it’s worth $6,000-$7,000 just because of its association with D’Rivera. The next saxophone appraised was a collectible King “Super 20” made in Cleveland, Ohio, valued at $4,000-$5,000 retail. Last, D’Rivera had the saxophone his father gave him when he was five years old appraised. It was a Selmer curved soprano saxophone, special order. Less than 24 were ever made and it’s worth $25,000 or more.

Feliciano had a painting by Ernest Crichlow appraised. She grew up in Brooklyn and her parents were involved in the Civil Rights movement. The painting was of a young girl with an apprehensive expression, wearing her Sunday best. It could sell at auction for $3,000-$5,000. 

The last painting appraised for the couple was a piece of art by Carlos Páez Vilaró of Uruguay. It features musicians playing and can be insured for $15,000.

From famous artwork to historical memorabilia, there were lots of great items on Antiques Roadshow, celebrity edition. These stars prove that celebrities are a lot like us when it comes to antiques. They can be just as blown away by the incredible valuations they get for their items. And they can be just as happy with their treasures, even when they’re not worth a lot. But for some items, it won’t matter what it’s worth at auction or retail, they’ll always be priceless.