Whether you're a regular PBS viewer or just mindlessly flipping channels on a Monday night, chances are you've caught segments of Antiques Roadshow U.S. The long-running TV series follows average citizens getting their treasures (or trash) appraised by professionals. Often on the show, the most unexpected objects hold obscenely high value.
What is the most expensive item ever appraised on Antiques Roadshow U.S.? Here's the scoop.
What is the most expensive item to appear on 'Antiques Roadshow' U.S.?
Every few years, a previously most-expensive item gets pushed even further down the list when newer, rarer items emerge. Currently, according to Entertainment Weekly, the most expensive item to appear on Antiques Roadshow U.S. is a Patek Phillippe pocket watch. The watch was discovered in St. Paul, Minn., in an episode of the show taking place on June 26, 2004.
At the time, the watch was valued at $1.5 million, but according to the Roadshow website in 2018, it's valued around $3-$5 million. The owner of the watch, Robert, explained on the show that the timepiece, which was created by Swiss watchmaker Patek Phillippe, was a family heirloom. "This watch was handed down from my great-grandfather. He was the owner of the 'St. Paul Pioneer Press and Dispatch' back in 1914, when he received this watch. And it was handed down from him to my father, and then he gave it to me."
The second most expensive item on Antiques Roadshow was a set of Chinese rhinoceros horn cups, which were initially purchased by a collector named Doug for $5,000. The cups, which were discovered in Tulsa, Okla., in 2011, were estimated at roughly $185,000 to $250,000 per cup. For five cups, the total group at action should have won an estimated $1-$1.5 million. Sadly, The New York Post reported in 2012 that only two of the cups were sold.
The third most expensive item to make Antiques Roadshow U.S. history will make sports fans very happy. In 2014, a New York collector revealed to an appraiser that she had original Boston Red Stockings baseball cards and a letter from the first-ever iteration of the team, a collection estimated to be worth $1 million. The woman with the cards explained that her great-great-grandmother had a boarding house in Boston, where the team stayed in 1871.
The beauty of Antiques Roadshow is that you really never know what items will soar to expensive heights or which are mostly of personal value. If you have items inherited or otherwise that might be valuable, you can always check the show's key tour dates through their website!
Antiques Roadshow airs at 8 p.m. ET on Mondays on PBS.