It's been ten long years since Antiques Roadshow was in Chicago and it took less than an hour for it to sell out completely! We were watching PBS when the offer came up during its fundraising segment. Our fingers flew to the phone and, as luck would have it, we were able to purchase two Golden Tickets to this show dedicated to discovering America's hidden treasures!
I took my Playboy Bunny of the Year costume from 1976 along with a lot of collateral material that included two trophies (one from the local Chicago pageant and the other from the International Bunny of the Year contest that was filmed in LA at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for ABC) among other items. The LA pageant attracted every celebrity you could think of. My program booklet (which I also brought) had autographs from O.J. Simpson (who had ironically included the word "peace" below his signature), Milton Berle, Dick Martin, Ringo Starr, Jim Brown and, of course, Hef.
My silver lame costume was complete with two sets of matching ears, well worn heels, a pair of cuffs with the original black Bunny head cufflinks, collar with clip-on bowtie, extra silver costume laces, extra "Candy" rosette name tag.....I even had the pack of bobby pins I used to keep the ears on as well as my hose! To say it was "complete" was an understatement! Additionally, I brought my Playboy Bunny training manuel that included instructions on how to do the famous "Bunny Dip".
Shortly after our ticket purchase, we were contacted by Dan Protess, senior producer for WTTW's "Behind the Scenes at the Roadshow", asking if we would be interested in letting him and his crew follow us during the process. They came to our house the day before to interview me about what we intended to bring.
At McCormick Place the following day, we were shepherded to the front of the line since we were being filmed for the "Behind the Scenes" show. When we reached the appraiser, collectibles expert Laura Woolley, she asked for the show producer to come take a look at my items. He asked me if I would appear on the national show! Duh, of course! (It will air in January).
We were then taken to the "Green Room" where those who were appearing on-camera were spruced up by makeup artists. I signed a release and watched other people have their items appraised on a monitor. One woman brought about 5 vintage outfits from Abbey Road, a clothing boutique the Beatles had owned for a few months before they shut it down. Apparently, the staff and customers were stealing more than they were buying, so the Fab Four closed the store. I heard one of the outfits was estimated at $3500 (she had paid $100 in the 60's)....I don't know how many pieces she had, but it was cool to find out the Beatles had tried their hand at retail! Who knew?
Before the event, we were sent all sorts of info concerning the experience. There were 70 appraisers who covered more than 22 specialties at the show. They don't appraise coins, stamps, paper currency, bicycles, fossils, tools, glass fire extinguishers (?!) or explosives and hazardous materials (?!?!?)...No surprise here!
Each ticket holder was allowed two items. Chuck and I also took 2 rare books and an autographed movie script. Since I'm a Harry Potter freak, I was curious about my Goblet of Fire first edition signed by J.K. Rowling to her father. In the full page inscription, she reveals who the character Ron Weasley was in real life. The book is dedicated to "Mr. Ridley", who was a friend of her father's and the person who inspired Ron. I also took a script signed by the entire cast from the first film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.
Chuck is a collector of modern first editions and he was curious about an Ian Fleming book. The first James Bond film, Dr. No, starred Sean Connery. His first edition book was signed by the actor with an accompanying photo.
The Roadshow team operates like Seal Team 6 and are super-pros! It was a positively delightful experience from beginning to end! Stay tuned for my segment coming in January to find out what my cherished items were worth! :-))) Let me just say this now, THANK YOU HEF! #RoadshowRules, #PlayboyRocks
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