I scored some AR tickets by entering their tickets raffle by email a few months ago. The tickets give you the exact time you are supposed to be there - in our case: 8:00 am. You can take up to 2 items per person to be appraised. So yesterday evening we packed up: 1 painting (surely worth at least $1K!), a set of 4 prints (maybe more?!?), 1 katana (I had that thing forever, must be at least another $1K!), and 1 mantle clock (must be at least $500!).
We arrived with time to spare at the San Jose Convention Center, and schlepped our treasures to the hall entry. A HUGE hall! They had it divided by appointment times. So we stood in the 8:00 am line, and were surprised how fast it moved.
Line for the Generalists tables
Luckily, we had the first appointment time of the day and there weren't any people hanging around from previous times. At the end of this line (where you see the sponsor logos projected on the wall) you are directed to one of the "generalists" tables. There you get a ticket according to what category your item falls in: in our case, we got 4: 1 for Asian Arts, 1 for Clocks, 1 for Paintings, and 1 for Prints. We decided to split up, because we were still expecting long lines at the appraiser tables.
The appraiser tables (no photos allowed in this area) are arranged in the form of a circle, and the lines for each table are radiating outward (more or less). The bulk of the lines is kept behind the dividers arranged behind the appraiser tables, with only a few people at a time waiting in front of the tables. Again, the lines were moving surprisingly fast. I had fully prepared to stand in line for an hour or two. In the middle of the circle was the TV setup.
My first appraiser (katana) was a bit grumpy and impatient (maybe because she had to get up early, too?), but the second one actually showed a bit of curiosity about my clock. Alas, no treasures here. Sigh!
My better half found out that our valuable painting was done by a commercial artist, hmpf - again, no treasure! The 4 prints which I received as a gift from my brother many years ago, are worth a few hundred dollars, but again: no treasures! Well ... As I heard an appraiser say on TV one time: "Well, it might be a treasure in a few generations' time!" Thanks to our early appointment time we were in and out in less than an hour. Here are our souvenirs:
The tickets and the appraiser category tickets, plus 2 handouts.
Maybe they will be worth something in a few hundred years!
When we got home, our cats were happy to be let out in the yard again:
The boss cat rolling around on the grass - in anticipation of a lazy day.
So we're not richer, but wiser - it was certainly interesting to see how these roadshows are organized. You know, when you watch the show on TV, thinking: "Why did these people bother to bring in this junk?" Yup. That's us!!! :-D