We've all got it. Old stuff. Laying around. Collecting dust. Stuffed in drawers. Boxes. Attics. Closets. Basements. Piled up in corners. Maybe it was passed down from your folks or a relatives. Maybe it was something that caught your eye at the flea market. Maybe it came with the house you moved into. and just maybe it's treasure.... (re-posted from a mail list I belong to) Simply Tim: OLD STUFF, COOL STUFF I really get a kick out of Public Television’s ANTIQUES ROADSHOW. That’s the program that travels around the country hosting local antiques shows by inviting the public to bring in their family antiques for a friendly appraisal. The show is staffed by an impressive group of antiques experts. Many times the objects spotlighted are outright curiosities. Other times they are truly valuable collectibles. The Antiques Roadshow format highlights a pleasant conversation between the antique’s owner and an informative expert, at the end of which the audience (as well as the owner) finds out what the piece would be worth at current-day auction. It’s fun to try to guess the piece’s value, but it’s even more fun to watch the response of the owner when they find out exactly how much (or how little) Grandma’s oddball knickknacks are worth. This week’s show was from a 2004 road trip originating in St. Paul, Minnesota, where one collector brought in a 1914 Patek Phillipe & Co. pocket watch that had been handed down to his father by his grandfather, and eventually to himself. According to the owner, the watch had been appraised at $6,000 fifteen years prior to the show. The expert appraiser successfully withheld his professional enthusiasm until the final moment of truth had arrived: the watch is now worth $250,000 or more. A cool quarter million. What a surprise! The watch was probably driven to the Antiques Roadshow bouncing around on the front seat of a Toyota. I bet it went home in a Brinks truck. Just for fun, I visited the PBS site and discovered the following link that features this particularly lucky fellow: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/roadshow/series/highlights/2005/stpaul/index.html Oh, well. I gotta run. Some old boxes in the attic are calling my name. ..