Is Your Junk a Secret Treasure?

Wonder no more about the value of your old treasures. Bring those items in for appraisal at the next taping of Kentucky Collectibles - the well-known program on Kentucky Educational Television (KET). Kentucky Collectibles tells Kentucky's stories through the prized items brought in for evaluation. With the cameras rolling, experts talk to participants about their possessions, assessing the value and history of items that range from art and antique furniture to autographed baseballs, pottery, and more.

Taping in Paducah!

The 2017 Kentucky Collectibles Appraisal Fair will be held Saturday, June 24 from 9am to 3pm at the Paducah McCracken County Convention and Expo Center. Tickets are $25 and include the opportunity to have up to two items appraised by a regional expert. KET’s production crews will be on hand to record appraisals from the fair, which will be broadcast during the series’ sixth season.

Antiques, Collectibles & Quilts

“Every year, I’m just in awe over the treasures our guests bring to the appraisal fairs,” said the show’s producer Erin Lowry. “From family heirlooms to rare pieces of Kentucky history, you just never know what is going to show up at Kentucky Collectibles. Paducah is already known for its array of antique shops and art galleries. I expect to see lots of paintings, antiques, and collectibles, as well as quilts coming through the doors of the Paducah Convention and Expo Center.” 

“Last year we had a letter written to a guest’s father from Dr. Martin Luther King Junior about the march on Selma which was absolutely priceless!” Lowry exclaimed. “We always have gorgeous family heirloom jewelry with stunning price tags. Guests are encouraged to bring in antique furniture. If you can bring a friend and drag it in, our expert antique appraisers will determine the history and value. So don’t hesitate to bring something to the fair because of its size.”

Searching For a Story

Items that have been appraised on past seasons of the show have included an antique quilt, a baseball signed by Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, several guns and a watch fob dubbed "the rock" by its owner. In its first season, a seemingly modest vase that turned out to be worth far more than its owner ever had imagined was featured. It was determined to have originated from a premier pottery works of the American Arts and Crafts movement in the early 20th century.

"He was stunned," Lowry said of the owner. "He had no idea it was worth that much." Often the history is just as interesting on a low-priced item as a valuable one, Lowry explained. Some participants find that they are sitting on a modestly-packaged gold mine. Others find that their family heirloom is worth passing on to the next generation but isn't as valuable as they had hoped.

Would Someone Buy it?

Kentucky's store of treasures benefits from being a long-settled state, explained prior guest appraiser Tom Clark of Clark Art and Antiques in Lexington. He said that some people might be surprised at the kinds of items currently en vogue among collectors. "The things that have value these days are not what Grandma told you had value," he said. He noted that some pieces of, say, big, old furniture really don't command much of a premium price.

There's a market for historical paper items, such as letters from the Civil War era. People also like small textile-related items, such as "the sampler your great-grandmother did when she moved to McCracken County or a button from a Civil War uniform.

Kentucky Collectibles airs on Saturdays at 3:30pm on KET and Mondays at 6:30pm on KET 2.

Tickets for the event can be purchased online at KET.org/collectibles or by phone at 800.432.0951.