Antiques Roadshow is a television series that airs in both Europe and America. The American version airs on PBS and is based on the British program, which airs on BBC One. Over the years it has aired, both versions of the show have lost several familiar faces.
BBC One Antiques Roadshow (U.K.)
The British version, which premiered in 1978, visits small and mid-sized cities offering appraisals for personal items by local antique appraisers as well as show favorites. In addition to offering a price, viewers learn about the history of items. Over the years, BBC has lost several appraisers both young and old.
In 2002, the Antiques Roadshow lost Sebastian Pearson at the age of 58. He joined the show in 1978 when it first began. An expert in porcelain, Pearson concentrated on oriental works of art, prints and oriental ceramics after humble beginnings as a Sotheby's porter.
Alice Gibson-Watt, a jewelry expert on Antiques Roadshow, died in 2012 at the age of 34. There was an investigation into her death, which was eventually ruled as a cardiac arrest. She had been restrained a week earlier due to postpartum psychosis.
Graham Lay, an expert in armor and other military memorabilia for the Antiques Roadshow, died in 2016 after suffering from cystic fibrosis since his 1960 birth. He appeared on the show for over 25 years.
Geoffrey Godden was a ceramics specialist and self-proclaimed "chinaman." In addition to publishing 30 books, he was so prolific in porcelain that he was nicknamed "Barbara Cartland of Ceramics" by Henry Sandon, another Roadshow expert. He died of natural causes in 2016 at the age of 87.
PBS Antiques Roadshow (U.S.)
Antiques Roadshow in America travels around the United States to places like Biloxi, Mississippi; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Rochester, Michigan and more. Over the show's many seasons, several appraisers have been memorialized.
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan appraiser Frank Boos, known for his bowtie, passed away in 2006 at age 70 from complications of vascular disease. This Antiques Roadshow appraiser was a specialist in silver and was featured on the show for 10 seasons.
Wayne Pratt, Antiques Roadshow appraiser of furniture and folk art for six seasons, passed away of complications from heart surgery in 2007 at 64. He was part of a lawsuit over an original version of the Bill of Rights before relinquishing his claim on the document in 2000. He was also a pivotal witness in the prosecution of Governor John G. Rowlands for falsifying tax information in 1997.
California jewelry expert Christie Romero was featured on seven seasons of Antiques Roadshow and took part in dozens of jewelry appraisals. She was well-versed in 18th-20th century jewelry including costume jewelry. She passed away in 2009 from complications associated with pancreatic cancer.
William Richard Wright Jr., an expert it 18th-20th century dolls and toys, passed away in 2009. In addition to having his own shop in Pennsylvania, Wright toured with the show from seasons three to 13. A sufferer of COPD, he died after contracting a virus.
In 2010, long-time jewelry appraiser Barry Weber passed away at the age of 59 from bladder cancer. Barry was a familiar face on the show for 15 seasons. He created several jewelry-vetting standards.
Wendell D. Garrett
Wendell D. Garrett was a decorative arts authority and historian who was a staple on the PBS show since it began in 1997. On the show, Garrett handled a range of projects and on-air assessments before his 2012 death. He passed away from natural causes at the age of 87.
Familiar Faces Lost
Over the years, the British and American television series' have said goodbye to several familiar antique specialists. Sadly, when a show runs for several decades, as Antiques Roadshow has, losing beloved personalities is inevitable. Remember your favorites fondly and be grateful for the expertise they shared.