Tonight, Nov. 12, Antiques Roadshow premieres a special episode, and we’ll be all eyes and ears. It’s called Cats & Dogs.
In case you’re one of the few who hasn’t fallen under the spell of this endlessly entertaining — and surprisingly scholarly — dusting-off of buried treasure and miscellaneous junque that folks find in nooks and grannies’ attics, know that it’s PBS’s most-watched primetime series.
The influential show has left many marks in the decorative-arts milieu — like the time, earlier this year,one of its appraisers greeted the daughter of an ex-Royal Observer Corps member.
She came bearing 15 original copies of the iconic “Keep Calm and Carry On,” the morale-boosting WWII British propaganda poster. It was believed there were only two known surviving examples outside government archives. By now, that poster is hot stuff on our shores — one can hardly pass a purveyor of wall art without seeing a reproduction of its stiff-upper-lip slogan. Its dog-friendly reincarnation, “Keep Calm and Walk the Dog,” is even emblazoned on retractable leashes!
So it stands to reason that it was just a matter of time before Roadshow went to the dogs. And so it has, quite glamorously.
Of tonight’s special, Roadshow executive producer Marsha Bemko promises, “You’ll see fine and furry friends taking all shapes and sizes … You won’t want to miss [it].”
The episode will include appraisals featuring canines (and felines, too, for connoisseurs of cat collectibles), sculpted, painted on canvas, and immortalized in pop-culture fossils.
In the latter category, the paws-down most droolworthy item is, in my humble opinion, the one that portrays Pit Bull pride: a vintage Buster Brown Shoes advertisement featuring Buster’s adorable brindle pittie, Tige.
Also wonderful are the mouthwatering robin’s-egg-blue Minton plates depicting dogs painted by the renowned canine artist Sir Edwin Landseer, which the design hound in me is hungry to set the table with at a dinner party. Delicious!
I also wouldn’t mind giving pride of place at my pad to the painted collector’s cabinet, circa 1900, whose every front drawer panel sports a sweet dog scene.
(Actually, this object could give decoratively DIY-inclined Dogster readers some neat ideas for spiffing up a tired old chest of drawers.)
Meanwhile, methinks writer’s block would simply never be an obstacle if only the fabulous Fabergé desk-set straight edge were sitting pretty in my dog writer’s office. And for a pawsome paperweight, check out the sleeping ceramic dog by Roseville.
Check your local PBS listings for show schedules.
Do you have a dog-themed collectible lying around and gathering dust? What are you planning to do with it? Please tell us in the comments!