What you need to know before ‘Antiques Roadshow’ pulls into Chicago Saturday

SHARE What you need to know before ‘Antiques Roadshow’ pulls into Chicago Saturday

PBS’ popular appraisal series, “Antiques Roadshow,” is dropping by Chicago’s McCormick Place Saturday as part of an eight-city summer tour.

Nearly 19,000 people applied for the 3,000 pairs of tickets that will get attendees — and their two precious items — into the event. (Don’t bother showing up if you don’t have a ticket.)

A team of 70 experts from around the world will verbally appraise roughly 10,000 objects over the course of the day. A small fraction of these appraisals will be highlighted in a trio of upcoming “Antiques Roadshow” episodes airing in the 19th season, which launches in January on WTTW-Channel 11.

What’s likely to land you on TV?

“It’s not just about value; we love great stories,” said executive producer Marsha Bemko, who’s been with the 12-time Emmy Award-nominated series since 1999.

“Don’t come and try to impress us,” she added. “Don’t come telling us what you already know. Here’s a chance to come and learn something you can’t look up on the internet.”

Other tips:

Leave your stilettos at home

“Wear flat shoes,” said Bemko, noting that some lines — especially those for paintings — can entail waits up to two and three hours, worst-case scenario. “Even if you get on TV, we’re not going to show your feet.”

Take a seat

If you or your guest has difficulty standing for long periods of time, you might want to bring a small, portable chair.

Less is more

Each ticket holder must bring at least one item but no more than two. A collection of very closely related objects will be considered one item (like those five ancient rhino horn cups appraised between $1 million and $1.5 million — a show record). You can also bring any supporting documents associated with an item (i.e., photographs, family notes, legal documents) to help appraisers.

Bigger isn’t better

Your item has to be able to fit through a standard door. If it’s heavy, consider bringing it on a cart, dolly or anything with non-metal wheels.

Don’t bother

Vehicles, stamps, stock certificates, paper currency, coins, bicycles, tools, fossils, glass fire extinguishers, explosives or hazardous materials won’t be appraised.

Unlike fine wine, some things aren’t better with age

“You can find antiquities that are worth $50,” Bemko said, adding this sage advice from one of the show’s appraisers: “It may be rare, but even rarer are people who want it.”

Mind the clock

Ticket holders will be admitted every hour, on the hour, according to the time on their ticket, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Producers ask that you don’t show up any earlier than 30 minutes before your ticket time.

Kids welcome

Children 12 and under do not need a ticket but must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Where to go/park

McCormick Place is located at 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. The event will take place in McCormick Place’s Lakeside Center. Drivers should go to Parking Lot C. If you need to use the drop-off area before parking the car, use the drop-off zone in front of Gate 36. For more information about parking and door-to-door directions, click here.

Don’t quit your day job

“Most of what we see is worth less than $500,” Bemko said, “and I’m being generous.”

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