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.
Making A Profit
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.
Dream Come True
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 afterall.
It was the senior vice president of Freeman Auction house – David Weiss
He ran up, shook the man’s hand, and gusted about the appraiser’s past appearances on the show. The man’s eyes went wide in shock. Obviously, he was surprised that a preteen would have this reaction. But the best part was still to come.
A Role Model
David Weiss is one of the most respected appraisers in America. He has been making waves in the auction field since 1988 and is one of the show’s head appraisers for paintings and oriental rugs.
He has a sharp eye and a well of knowledge that most could only dream of! He was exactly what Mark wanted to be.
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 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 looked at Mark in amazement. But it was time to get to the main event.
Mark guessed it was a watercolor by someone named Albert, but he couldn’t find out anything else. All he knew is that he wanted to sell it.
Weiss grinned and confirmed Mark was right. The artist was Albert Neuhuys a well-known Dutch painter that liked to focus on rural family life. “How much do you think this is worth?” Weiss asked.
Albert Neuhuys paintings were unique in how he specialized in the shine of satin clothes and his use of light. The watercolors he used became known for their sparkling transparency.
But the question remained. “How much do you think this is worth?” Weiss asked Mark.
“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.
Staring In Amazement
His parents stared at Mark in shock. Their jaws hanging open. Once the surprise passed, they looked at their son in complete amazement and admiration.
They didn’t teach him any of this. He learned how to spot a treasure all by himself. And not only that, he also had to fight hard to persuade them to trust him.
It was a mixture of shock and pride.
It wasn’t the first time Mark’s persistence had turned a profit, and they were already so happy he had such a unique hobby, but this was the biggest dollar amount he had made so far. Weiss also had a number of compliments that would turn his face red.
All Grown Up
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 successful 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!