Madison, MN

The most expensive item on the Antiques Roadshow in the U.S.

Anita Durairaj
Antiques Roadshow in Madison, WisconsinCredit: Bobak Ha'Eri; CC-BY-SA-3.0

The Antiques Roadshow is created by BBC Television and is distributed by PBS in the U.S. The show has been running in the U.S. for 26 seasons.

Based on the British Antiques Roadshow, the American version of the show started its run in 1997.

The Antiques Roadshow is most interesting to viewers because the history and value of the antiques are discussed on the show. At least 70 appraisers work at each tour stop and only the most interesting objects are aired on the program.

A list of the highest appraisals and the most valuable items that have ever appeared on the U.S. version of the show reveals paintings, Chinese artwork, and sports memorabilia have been appraised for the highest amounts. These numbers range from $500,000 to $1 million or more.

However, there is one incredible find that may be the most expensive antique to ever appear on the show.

In 2004, a Patek Philippe pocket watch appeared on the show airing in St. Paul, Minnesota. The watch was a family heirloom from 1914. It was an 18-karat gold pocket watch that had a "complicated" movement with 37 jewels, a nickel lever movement, a split chronograph, and a perpetual calendar.

The appraiser on the show valued the watch at $250,000. The owner of the watch was immensely pleased as he had hoped that even a $50,000 value would have been significant.

The watch was placed for auction in 2006. Sotheby's auction sold the watch for more than $1.5 million which was a nice windfall for the original owner. The sale made the watch the most expensive item on the Antiques Roadshow in the U.S.

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Trained with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, I write unique and interesting articles focused on science, history, and current events.


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