ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Three thousand pairs of tickets were given away through a lottery system.
More than 5,000 people showed up for the PBS TV show “Antiques Roadshow” at the Albuquerque Convention Center on Saturday to see if they had a hidden treasure in their hands.
The show, now in its 19th season, features local antiques owners who bring in items to be appraised by experts. Some of the more than 10,000 items at each stop are then chosen by the experts to be featured in one of 90 taped appraisals for the show, which will spotlight the Albuquerque stop for three episodes next year.
“It’s all about the stories for me at this point,” said Marsha Bemko, executive producer of the show. “I’ve been doing the show for 15 years now, and there are hidden treasures everywhere.”
One of the treasures on Saturday belonged to Corrales and Santa Fe resident Alana. (The show did not want the last names of guests used.)
Alana brought in a United States silk wedding gown from the 1870s, which was at the bottom of a clothing trunk purchased by her mother in 1956 in Flushing, N.Y.
It was featured for a segment with vintage clothing expert Steven Porterfield of Midland, Texas.
“This wedding gown represents upper-class America during those times,” Porterfield said. “The type of silk that the dress is made from is very sturdy. And the dress was definitely made for a church wedding.”
Alana said she brought the dress to find a home for it.
“I keep it in the trunk and store it under my stairs,” she said. “I’ve offered to see if some museums were interested in it. Nothing yet. But I may have found a new path for the dress.”
Many people at the Convention Center stood in line for hours, hauling their collectibles in wagons, hand dollies, or simply carrying them.
But Mary of Albuquerque, brought in her collectible – named Joe – riding in a wheelchair. Joe is a plastic, life-size Native American man molding.
“Joe used to sit out in Old Town years ago,” she said. “I bought him in 1970, and now he stays in my theater and takes tickets.”
Joe impressed the experts so much, he was chosen to be featured in a separate segment.
“I’ve always wanted to find out more about him,” she said. “It’s been a fun experience, and I’m glad it’s happening in town.”
The last time “Antiques Roadshow” was held in Albuquerque was in 2002. This was also the time that a Chinese Tang Dynasty Marble Lion worth $150,000-$250,000 was featured. The moment is also one of the top 10 finds for the TV show.
While in the Duke City, the TV show filmed at three locations other than the Convention Center. They were the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum and The Albuquerque Museum.
TV show host Mark Walberg also got a chance to throw out the first pitch at the Albuquerque Isotopes baseball game on Friday night.
“This was the first time I have ever been asked,” Walberg said. “I coach Little League, so I relied on those skills to get me through.”