The third and final installment of “Antiques Roadshow: Baton Rouge” airs Monday, but that’s probably not the last viewers will see of the city.
“We will come back here, it’s just a matter of how long. We don’t repeat a city in any less than five years,” said “Roadshow” executive producer Marsha Bemko at a recent sneak preview event at the Louisiana Public Broadcasting studios.
Several in the crowd that night had had their appraisals taped by the “Antiques Roadshow” crew when it visited Baton Rouge in July. Bemko explained that even if all of them didn’t make the cut for the initial show, there’s a chance they’ll make one of the “Roadshow’s” off-shoot episodes.
“We still have ‘Junk in the Trunk,’” she said. “Because we now go to eight cities, we make two ‘Junk in the Trunks’ a year. So were you cut, or are you junk? You just don’t know yet.”
Bemko said Baton Rouge was another successful tour stop, with almost 13,000 people applying for the 3,000 pairs of tickets available, and 4,719 people turning out that day.
Bemko mingles among the owners and their treasures on these stops, helping to choose those who will be recorded for possible appearance on the show.
“It’s very hard to pick favorites,” she said. “It’s like asking me to pick my favorite kid. I have more than one.”
Like the vernacular chair (ca. 1820-1830) seen on a previous Baton Rouge episode.
“It could be worth $5,000 if it’s from Louisiana, $50 if it’s not,” Bemko said. “The owner would have to do a wood test on it to find out.”
Why would it being from here boost its value?
“People love you people. People love you down here,” Bemko said. “It’s what collectors want. It’s a very market-driven thing. It’s rare. You can be sure a lot of the things in the South disappeared during the Civil War. It makes a huge difference and collectors will pay ... they really want to collect your stuff.”
On Monday’s show, host Mark L. Walberg and appraiser Christopher Mitchell visit Port Hudson to learn about a rare Civil War hand grenade. Appraisals include an early 19th-century Louisiana work table stored in a barn for decades; a collection of insightful Civil War confederate letters found in the wall of a torn down Mississippi house; and a Porfirio Salinas oil (ca. 1935) in its original frame, bought by the owner’s grandmother for $100 in 1935 and now valued at $45,000.