Dig out Great Aunt Eunice’s teacups! On Saturday, “Antiques Roadshow” stops in our history-saturated city for the first time in its 14 years to appraise thousands of family heirlooms and flea market finds. Those without tickets to the event at the convention center (distributed earlier by raffle) can tune in to PBS next year, when the three D.C. episodes will air. The calm in the “Roadshow” storm is cool, collected host Mark L. Walberg, who told us what it’s like to take his show on the road.
» EXPRESS: What do you expect to find in D.C.? Maybe George Washington’s extra fake teeth?
» WALBERG: I don’t have a whole lot of expectations. I know we’re going to see great stuff because what I’ve found is, we could be in Hawaii and get Revolutionary War furniture and we could be in Connecticut and get Hawaiian quilts. It’s funny how these antiques and collectible treasures travel and show up in the strangest places.
» EXPRESS: Will any political types make appearances?
» WALBERG: I don’t know of any political figures that are coming, but I’m going to keep my eyes peeled. I’m hoping that some dignitaries and politicos might stop by, because regardless of what side of the aisle you’re on, when you talk about antiques, it is a bipartisan adventure.
» EXPRESS: What’s the weirdest item you’ve seen appraised on the show?
» WALBERG: Every city we go to, we have about 6,000 people show up. Each of them brings one or two items. So, it could be anywhere from 10 to 12,000 items that come through the door. People who collect antiques and collectibles are a fun and sometimes eccentric group. So, you never know what’s coming in. You get stuff from scientific mock-ups to all the art you would expect. I love it when people bring in some contraption that stumps the appraiser.
» EXPRESS: Are you a collector?
» WALBERG: I don’t have the collecting gene. My son, daughter and wife are a little bit more into collecting. But one of the things I learned when I first got the show was that, while I have things I love in my home, I don’t think I have anything of tremendous value.
» EXPRESS: If you had to choose one item in your house to have appraised, what would it be?
» WALBERG: My wife [actress Robbi Morgan Walberg] has a couple of circus collectibles that I’d like to get appraised. She was in the original company of “Barnum” on Broadway and had sort of an affinity for the circus, so I’ve got a couple of music boxes and stuff like that.
» EXPRESS: Do people confuse you with the other Mark Wahlberg?
» WALBERG: Only when they hear the name, but never when they see us in person. No mistaking the difference between the two of us! In the worst case, it’s an awkward confusion, and in the best case, when I phone in a reservation, I get a good table at restaurants that I don’t deserve.
Photo courtesy PBS