How do the appraisers on the television program Antiques Roadshow know the value of the vast multitude of objects that they see? Well, sometimes they don't. They make mistakes, as appraiser Stephen L. Fletcher did when Alvin Barr brought in a clay jug covered with faces.
Fletcher dated the artifact to the mid-19th Century and likely from the mid-Atlantic states or the South. How much was it worth? About $30,000-50,000.
That would have delighted Betsy Soule, the woman who sculpted the piece in the 1970s for a high school art class. Hyperallergic reports:
Now a horse trainer, Soule had first heard about her onscreen handiwork from a friend who saw the episode in January, according to The Bulletin, and told her, “You’ve got to get on the internet and look up Antiques Roadshow; that weird pot you made is on there.”
Antiques Roadshow has since amended the estimate to $3,000-5,000, which is still impressive.
-via Nag on the Lake