Antiques Roadshow was in Little Rock last weekend and my husband, Jim, and I were there. Jim’s name had been drawn for a pair of free tickets and on Saturday we redeemed them. Each ticket holder could bring two items to be appraised by the experts.
One of the items that we brought was a tall wooden chair. As a little girl, I used to sit in it at my grandparents’ house and pretend to be royalty. That’s why I called it the “Queen Chair.”
Once I asked my grandmother Nana if I could have the chair and she said, “Yes!”
As Jim and I put the chair into the car and then headed to Antiques Roadshow, I wondered, What would I do if it was worth $1,000, $5,000 or more?
At least 100 years old, surely it was handmade and passed down from generation to generation. Of course, I would never sell that chair because it means too much to me; it reminds me of my Nana. But … I did want to know its value.
Thousands of others wanted to know the value of some of their prized possessions, too, as they lined up in front of the Statehouse Convention Center. Some pulled paintings in small wagons while others carried books penned a century or more ago. And then there was the lady near us who held a cardboard box with a glass lamp tucked inside.
First, a middle-aged man asked about the history of the chair. Then he flipped it over and examined the bottom of the seat. He spotted what looked like a fading label and on it there was some type of signature. I took a deep breath as the appraiser took out a magnifying glass and attempted to read it.
Then, just a few seconds later, he said … the chair was made of oak … it was of good quality. It was indeed about 100 years old … But it had been manufactured, not made by hand … in the early 20th century. And the estimated value was … $150.
Yes, $150 … not $1,000, $5,000 or more.
After first feeling a bit let down, I remembered: The best things in life don’t have price tags. The Queen Chair had not deflated in worth that day.
Its value never changed. To me, it was, and still is, simply priceless! And I hope that my great-great grandchildren will sit in it one day.
Do you have a priceless possession that was once owned by a loved one? (In case you’re wondering, the other three things that Jim and I brought to Antiques Roadshow were also “priceless.”)
Post and photo copyright © 2015 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
“To Be a Boy Again” (poem)
© 2015 Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
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