We had 8am tickets, putting us in the first group through. (They stagger the ticket times to avoid one huge line.) First we entered a sort of staging area where there were blue taped lanes set up according to ticket times. When we got there at 8, there were already some 9 and 10am people in some of the other lanes! Once in our lane we were told to turn off our phones. (Booo.)
|Crappy iphone photo of the "staging" lanes|
Next stop was a small group of tables where you quickly showed your items and were given a ticket for each of your two items. I got tickets to “Musical Instruments” and “Tribal Art”, and my friend got two “Collectibles” tickets. Next we entered the second area and were met by a line of volunteers who would escort you to your first appraiser.
|Waiting to get our appraiser tickets.|
In the center of the room, they set up a round ring with the cameras in the middle, appraisal tables surrounding the cameras, all backed by blue curtains. We were escorted to little lanes behind each curtain according to our tickets. Another volunteer would bring us into the ring to talk to the appraiser. After talking to your appraiser, you go back outside the curtains and on to your remaining appraisers. After your items have been appraised, you have the option of stopping by the Feedback Booth, otherwise that’s it! We were back outside by 9:30!
|The center ring from the outside|
Each taping day, they see 5,000 to 6,000 people come through, (according to two volunteers I asked) so they are masters at getting you in and getting you out.
After much deliberation, I brought a 1920s/30s Ukulele and a Germaine Mariancourt silkscreen from the 50s. I wanted to bring things that I thought were interesting (and that might get me on TV) but it was really hard to choose. I tend to be a collector of mid-century items, which don’t seem that popular on the show, plus I have nothing really old – only old-ish.
So it turns out the Ukulele was the kind of thing that would have been ordered from the back of a comic book, and not worth very much, but since it does have the unusual pattern on it, the appraiser said its worth about $50. For my print, the “Tribal Art” appraiser said that there were many of these prints made, but that it would probably be priced between $50 and $75 in a shop – not bad since I paid $7 for it!
All in all, it was fun, but very fast - the appraisers we talked to were very nice, we had a great chat with "Musical Instruments" and "Collectibles", but "Tribal Art" was a bit brusque. We saw two people being taped, a woman with a very awesome mid-century desk, and a gentleman with an antique high boy. We also stood just off camera as Mark Wahlberg was taping some intros!