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‘Antiques Roadshow’ Pulls Episode

April 21, 2000

BOSTON (AP) _ Producers of public television’s popular ``Antiques Roadshow″ program have pulled another episode because of questions about the authenticity of an appraisal.

Peter McGhee, a vice president for WGBH-TV, said the station was concerned about an episode in which a woman brings in a 17th-century Milanese parade helmet and learns it’s worth $250,000.

The woman said she had found the helmet in her attic, but she won’t return the station’s telephone calls, McGhee said.

``The woman owner’s story of finding it in the attic _ that’s the part we weren’t able to get her to verify for us,″ McGhee said. ``There was at least a cloud of doubt about that. Here’s a case where doubt persists and we couldn’t eliminate it, so we withdrew the program.″

McGhee said the station talked to the San Francisco appraiser, Greg Martin, who heads the arms and armor department at Butterfield’s Auction Gallery.

``He said it was a bona fide appraisal ... and we have no reason to doubt his word,″ he said.

Martin told the Boston Herald he was surprised to learn the episode had been pulled because the woman did not return calls.

``I think that’s an irrational conclusion,″ Martin said. ``I remember she was sincerely frightened after she found out the value of the piece.″

The episode first aired in 1997 and was scheduled for broadcast again on May 8.

The show invites ordinary people to bring in items and find out whether they’re junk or treasure. It’s watched by about 14 million people each week and it’s going into its fifth year, but recently it has hit some bumps in the road.

Late last month, the station said it was cutting all ties with two of the appraisers that had appeared on the show because they had staged an appraisal of a Civil War sword during the show’s first season.

McGhee promised ``we will be even more careful that such things cannot happen.″

Appraisers on the show are not paid but gain national publicity if they appear on the show.

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