One womans junk……..

Published 1:41 pm Monday, June 8, 2009

Not because I don&squo;t find the program endlessly interesting and educational, but because I&squo;m very close to throwing a brick at it.

Honestly, last week, on the &squo;BBCAmerica&squo; broadcast, a 40-ish couple came forward with a one of a kind, antique, Lalique bowl. They had purchased it at a &squo;car boot sale&squo; (a flea market to you and me) for a &dquo;quid,&dquo; i.e. one pound, equal to roughly $1.60.&bsp; They bought it because there was a plant they wanted inside and they were about to toss the bowl in &squo;the skip&squo; (dumpster), but because the Roadshow was in town, they thought they would bring it in to see if it was worth anything. The appraiser, nearly turning inside out with disbelief, pointed out that the bowl was signed &dquo;Lalique&dquo; in rather large letters at the bottom and had they not seen that?

&bsp;&dquo;Yeah.&dquo; the woman answered, tonelessly.

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&dquo;Have you ever heard of Lalique?&dquo; the gentleman queried, summoning all the restraint he had.

Bored, she shook her head and then mentioned she thought the cloudy glass was ugly. Her mouth began to work wordlessly when informed that her ugly glass bowl was worth approximately $50,000. Her husband began nervously wiping his hands across his tank top, too frightened to carry the thing back to the car. I simply hoped they were now financially comfortable enough to wear a collar the next time they appeared on national television.

Not long after this, a mother and daughter appeared from, I&squo;m guessing, the same neighborhood, with an exquisite enameled sort of candy dish.

&dquo;She wanted to bring this and I wanted to give it to the jumble shop!&dquo; the mother declared, clearly embarrassed by what she referred to as &dquo;tat.&dquo;

&dquo;So you don&squo;t care for it?&dquo; chuckled another appraiser.

&dquo;Wouldn&squo;t &squo;ave it in the &squo;ouse.&dquo; she replied. &dquo;But &squo;er Gran left it to &squo;er and she thinks it&squo;s special, like.&dquo;

&dquo;Special, like&dquo; indeed. The little jewel-toned dish was from the house of Faberge and valued at $30,000.

Why doesn&squo;t this ever happen to me? I love treasure hunting through yard sales and flea markets. Ever since an acquaintance told of finding a first edition of &dquo;The Catcher in the Rye&dquo; for a quarter, I have been on a mission which, to this date, has turned out less than fruitful. Not only would I recognize the name, &squo;Lalique,&squo; but I would build on an extension as a shrine to its glory. And Faberge?? Remember Demi Moore in the ads for the film &dquo;Indecent Proposal,&dquo; rolling nude on a bed covered with hundred dollar bills? OK, perhaps I wouldn&squo;t go quite that far, but certainly in a pair of worn Carharts and muckboots…

At any rate, let me just offer anyone out there who has something they&squo;re about to toss in the trash that is marked either Lalique, or Royal Doulton or Roseville or&bsp; Townsend, to give me a call. I&squo;ll be happy to take it off your hands. But for Heaven&squo;s sake, don&squo;t refinish it!