Item at Antiques Roadshow Breaks Appraisal Record

© Jeff Dunn, WGBH 2011

The Antiques Roadshow rolled into Tulsa this weekend and history was made! The most expensive item in the show's 16 year history walked right through the doors of the Tulsa Convention Center."Tulsa is famous, a Roadshow record," says Roadshow Executive Producer Marsha Bemko.History was made, records were broken and jaws were dropping. A man is walking away a millionaire this weekend. He came to the Tulsa Convention Center with a set of cups he's had since the 1970's. He soon found out his 5 Chinese carved cups, made of rhinoceros horn, are his retirement package. "That are worth between $1,000,000 and $1,500,000," says appraiser Lark Mason. For his safety we are not identifying the big winner, but his find puts Tulsa on top. "As each one came out of the box my jaw started to drop a little more and that of at my colleagues eyes and their jaws dropped as well," says Mason. Never in the 16 year history of Antiques Roadshow has there ever been a more expensive item appraised. Mason had the good fortune to tell the owner he was a millionaire."I was hoping he wasn't going to collapse but he said that he was glad that he didn't need his inhaler," says Mason. "You clearly could even see, in the tape that I was watching, the color rush over his face," says producer Bemko.Mason says the million dollar cups were given as gifts to wealthy people for special occasions in the late 17th to early 18th centuries.During that time it was thought that rhinoceros horn had special powers. What makes them so valuable today is china's power and stance in the world. "We had not had a million dollar find until last season we found some jade in Raleigh now Tulsa, you are the top dogs now," says the show's host Mark Walberg. "Top Dogs" is sure to be a title Tulsans are proud to hold.Its safe to say none of the Roadshow crew knew they would be breaking records in Green Country."I certainly wasn't expecting this in Tulsa, Oklahoma," says Mason. "Although Tulsa is a wonderful place and now it's even more wonderful as far as I'm concerned.""I am no longer surprise by what I'm going to find anywhere, but yeah okay a little surprised to find it in Tulsa, but delighted," says Bemko.The last time the Roadshow was in Tulsa was nearly ten years ago, hopefully with the big find this weekend they will visit us a little sooner. {}{}{} {}Producers tell us Tulsa's record breaking show will air on PBS some time early next year.

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