The entire ride had been an anxious one. His parents definitely weren’t on board with his scheme but nevertheless, they didn’t want to get in the way of his interests. He held the painting in his sweaty palms the entire car ride there. But when the appraiser raised an eyebrow he knew something was up. Mark was definitely not the standard young boy like many others were, his interests were different!
Other kids’ interests were video games or athletic sports like football. But Mark was watching The Antiques Road Show and looking for gems in every garage sale. He loved antiques, which was far from the interests that his peers had. He never went to many parties because of his unique and mature tastes. He didn’t mind being ‘uncool’ though.
He found it hard to relate to other kids and he accepted it. But soon he’d be the coolest kid in school. Mark knew every appraiser on the show that he loved and even watched a documentary on The Antiques Road Show. To say it was an obsession was an understatement.
One day in a thrift store he saw a ratty old painting, but having keen insight because of the show, he begged his father to let him buy it for only $2.Mark had two brothers which he was the youngest. Even so, his love for antiques was definitely mature tastes compared to them.
He needed the ratty painting, he had a feeling that it was the right thing to do, a decision that would definitely pay off.He loved the brush strokes and the old wooden frame. He knew that this was no ordinary painting, it was something unique. But he had no idea how things would end.
He felt the canvas and the chipped frame. It wasn’t like any painting he’d seen before, and for $2 the risk was minimal. At the very worst he’d have a $2 painting in his room. Once the painting was bought Mark knew the next step was where the difficulties would come. His favorite show was airing in Virginia, relatively close to where he lived…
It took two weeks of nonstop badgering before his parents finally couldn’t take it anymore and caved. He was excited for what would come next. They got in the car and off they went. The places smelled spectacular, like antique wood, canvas board, and age. He was in heaven. Then he was shown a place where he could be seated, and he recognized the face that escorted him.
He looked the same as when he was on Mark’s TV but there was something he never noticed about the man until seeing him in person. His presence, he was a host after all. It was the senior vice president of Freeman Auction house – David Weiss
He dashed up to the appraiser, shook his hand, and gushed about the appraiser’s previous performances on the show.
The man’s eyes widened in surprise. He was obviously taken aback by the reaction of a preteen. The finest part, though, was yet to come. David Weiss is a well-known appraiser in the United States. Since 1988, he’s been making waves in the auction world, and he’s one of the show’s top appraisers for paintings and oriental rugs.
Mark sat tall and confident as Weiss set him up at the table and explained about the cameras. However, inside he was jittering with excitement. It only got better when Weiss started asking questions – and Mark delivered totally unexpected answers that quickly changed the tone of the entire interview.
He has a sharp eye and a well of knowledge that most could only dream of! He was exactly what Mark wanted to be. He asked what Mark like to collect. He grinned and answered, “I like glass, sterling silver, and art.” He also tried to sell his finds online to make a little profit. But he knew he had to wait until September to assess anything sterling silver because of market fluctuation.
Weiss was taken aback by Mark’s reaction. But it was time to get down to business. Mark assumed it was a watercolor by Albert, but he couldn’t find out any further information. He only knew one thing: he wanted to sell it. Weiss smiled and nodded, confirming Mark’s assertion. Albert Neuhuys was the artist. Albert Neuhuys’ paintings were notable for their focus on the gleam of satin garments and their use of light. His watercolors were remarkable for their brilliant transparency.
But the question remained. “How much do you think this is worth?” Weiss asked Mark.a well-known Dutch painter that liked to focus on rural family life. “How much do you think this is worth?” Weiss asked.“Hundred and fifty bucks,” Mark answered confidently. Making that much money off a 2-dollar investment would have been amazing. The appraiser’s grin changed, and it make Mark’s excitement skyrocket.
“It’s worth more than that,” Weiss said. Mark sat up straight on the edge of his seat. His face was full of anticipation. His parents watched from the sidelines. Their hearts pounded for their little boy. “How much do you think it’s worth?”, Mark excitedly asked. He was barely able to stay seated. The crowd grew silent.“Are you ready to find out?”, Weiss asked teasingly. “Yes!”, Mark replied.
“Today, if your Albert Neuhuys watercolor came to an auction, it would probably sell for about $1000 to $1500.” It was Mark’s turn for his jaw to hit the floor. Out of the corner of his eye, he also saw his parents’ reaction. Their jaws hung open. Once the surprise passed, they looked at their son in complete amazement and admiration.
None of this was taught to him. He taught himself how to find a treasure on his own. Not only that, but he had to fight hard to get them to believe in him. It wasn’t the first time Mark’s perseverance had paid off, and they were already overjoyed that he had such a unique interest, but this was the most money he’d ever made. Weiss also received a number of compliments that made him blush.
As with all investments, it can be a risky business, especially if that investor is not even a teenager yet. But for Mark, he didn’t feel too young. He was smart and did a lot of research. This was all he needed to encourage his parents to take him more seriously. And it wasn’t only his parents that had a change of heart. Once Mark’s unique talent and the success story hit the tv, he instantly became the coolest kid in town.
Although Mark didn’t really care too much what other kids thought of him, it was nice to know that now, they understood him. Suddenly, making money and being smart was cool. But Weiss also had a number of compliments for Mark that would turn his face red. Weiss though even though Mark still had lots to learn if he wanted to become a professional, he was already leaps and bounds ahead of any other dealer was when they were that young.
He was also impressed that Mark had made such a wonderful find on instinct alone. The muted image of a farm wife and her child took on an entirely different light. So did his parents’ attitude about the entire trip. He felt a new, intense itch to get online and learn more so he could hone his skills, and hopefully visit some auction houses soon. The entire experience was amazing!
Mark sat in the car with his original Neuhuys with a huge smile plastered across his face. He loved his unusual hobby more than anything, but now he knew he could make a career of it. And, who knows, maybe be rich one day!