I’ve always enjoyed watching the BBC’s ‘Antiques Roadshow’. It’s so ‘British’ with rather posh presenters, even posher experts and it takes place in some very posh surroundings.
Everyone is so polite, and even when some poor ‘punter’ is told by some know-it-all wearing a Panama hat, that his cherished Ming vase was only recently made in Hong Kong and is worth just a few bob, he accepts the valuation without question and probably returns it to his attic to stand alongside the ‘jade’ Buddha he bought, at the same time, from that nice Chinese man he met near the cruise ship terminal.
Of course, sometimes, some old girl brings along a grimey painting in a beat-up frame which turns out to be a masterpiece and worth a fortune, and, occasionally, there is someone who has bought an old jug at a car boot sale or flea market for 50p (75¢) and discovers that it is a priceless artifact from the 14th century.
Even then the good old British ‘sang-froid’ is much in evidence, as the owners of these treasures do not scream and punch the air, but usually just gasp and express their surprise to the blazer wearing art buff who is green with envy, but dares not show it.
It’s all very genteel and, as you would expect, and no money actually changes hands. Which is a far cry from my latest ‘antiques show’ discovery on ‘The History Channel’ …
It’s .. Wham ! .. Bam! .. and Bring it on ! … Yes, It’s .. ‘PAWN STARS’ ! .. and it’s a bloody long way from ‘an English country garden’ setting, and about as far removed from ‘posh’ and ‘genteel’ as you could possibly get.
I believe that the show has been around for some time, but I have only recently caught up with it. It’s both interesting and entertaining, and I just love it.
The ‘stars’ in question are .. Rick Harrison, Corey ‘Big Hoss’ Harrison, Richard ‘Old Man’ Harrison and ‘Chumlee’, none of whom wear blazers or straw hats, although I’ve a feeling that Chumlee, who’s intelligence, judgment and competence are constanty questioned, could turn up wearing a back-to-front version at any moment.
Just like the ‘Antiques Roadshow’ valuations on objects brought into their shop, often rely on the opinion of experts; but unlike the British programme deals are done on the spot after much haggling ..
“I was looking to get $5,000” .. says one customer.
“Well, keep looking” .. says the ‘Old Man’.
Some people get really pissed-off and walk away when they are not offered the price they had expected, but most seem to shake Rick by the hand, as we hear the familiar …
… “Chumlee, write him up” !