- Associated Press - Saturday, May 17, 2014

DANVILLE, Va. (AP) - Amie Pickeral of Brosville said she had the best pre-birthday present ever when she headed to Richmond earlier this month to see if she could win a spot on “Antiques Roadshow,” a popular PBS television show that appraises antiques.

Pickeral is a 20-year-old, self-described professional student and antiques lover. She graduated from Danville Community College last May and attended Southern Adventist University in Chattanooga, Tennessee, for one semester last fall - but decided she not only wanted to change her major, she also wanted to be closer to home.

Now, she plans to attend Liberty University or Old Dominion University in the fall.

In the intervening semester, she has taken some time off from studies and had time to pursue her passion for antiques.

Pickeral said she took a small doll, a necklace - both “not worth anything,” she said - and an old book she picked up at an after-estate-sale sale for $2.

The estate sale had already taken place a few weeks earlier, Pickeral said, and the owners just wanted to get rid of everything left over. She found a small room in the basement full of books piled on tables and in boxes on the floor and started digging through them.

When she came across an obviously old, beat up copy of “The Lawes Resolutions of Womens Rights or The Lawes Resolution for Women” (sic) she was fascinated.

“I was thrilled,” Pickeral said. “I saw on the spine a date of 1632 and wondered if it was accurate . I collect antiques and before this, the oldest book I’ve found is a Bible I bought for my mom, from 1795.”

So, when “Antiques Roadshow” - one of her favorite television programs, Pickeral said - announced it would be in Richmond doing appraisals and taping a three-part series, she decided to carry some of her interesting finds to the show and see what they were worth.

After spending a few hours in lines to see appraisers for the various objects, Pickeral made it to the show’s book appraiser, Martin Gammon.

“He said ‘hi,’ and I said, ‘I’m ready for my close-up,’ because I really thought I had something,” Pickeral said.

Gammon looked the book over, checked some online resources and asked Pickeral what she paid for the book - and what she thought it was worth.

Pickeral laughed, and said she told him about her $2 purchase price and said she hoped to double her money.

After hearing the book was worth quite a bit more than that, Pickeral was sent to talk to a producer about being featured on the show and the next thing she knew, she was in the green room, chatting with show host Mark Walberg as he was having his makeup done.

“You can’t take photos in the appraisal area, but I got one of me with him in the green room,” Pickeral said.

She was told not to discuss or even show her item to other hopefuls - “I think they do that so they can’t get on their phones and look up what other items are worth,” Pickeral said - and then was heading for the cameras when she spotted her “antiquing idol,” Wes Cowan.

Cowan, of Cowan’s Auctions in Cincinnati, Ohio, stars not only on “Antiques Roadshow” as a featured appraiser, he stars on the PBS series, “History Detectives,” Pickeral said.

“I’ve watched him for the last seven to eight years,” Pickeral said. “I had to meet him and talk about being a fan. It was wonderful.”

Then it was time for filming the segment she will be featured in and letting the world know her $2 bargain was not only worth “double her money,” but worth thousands of times more than that - though she didn’t want to reveal the exact appraisal until the show airs.

Pickeral said she is looking forward to seeing the show air.

“I’ll be waiting for that shocking moment everyone loves on Antiques Roadshow,” she said. “I’m as excited to see it as everyone else; I want to watch my reaction.”

Pickeral admits she has not yet read the book - the cramped, tiny type in an Old English typeface is daunting, especially considering the now-obsolete spellings of some words and odd characters used for some letters of the alphabet (for instance, a lowercase “s” looks much more like an “f” - turning the “suppose” into something that looks more like “fuppofe”.)

Though the title sounds like it could be an early book about equality of the sexes, it was actually a treatise on the very restrictive laws in place governing women’s status in a world where they did not even have any rights over their own property.

Asked if she plans to sell the book, Pickeral responded with an emphatic, “no!”

“It’s my treasure and I’m going to keep it,” she said.

Pickeral said the show will air at 8 p.m. Monday on PBS.


Information from: Danville Register & Bee, https://www.registerbee.com

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