by Mitchell Kirk
A Logansport woman will be on an episode of “Antiques Roadshow” this week featuring a rare snuff container more than 120 years old.
A longtime fan of the show, Jo Ann Chapman said she has attended tapings with her husband and friends since around 2005 in Indianapolis, Kentucky, Wisconsin and Michigan, where she found little success from appraisers for dishware, a clock, a piano stool, jewelry and other items. Her latest visit to the show — the one featuring her snuff container — was filmed last July in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Chapman said she received the snuff container from her sister-in-law in Ohio along with a hand-woven Native American fish catcher, which she was told would certainly be worth something. She brought both items to the taping last summer to be appraised.
Appraisers told her the fish catcher was worth hardly anything, however, leaving just the snuff container, which Chapman said she considered not even bringing.
“I didn’t even know what it was,” she said.
When excitement started brewing among the appraisers as they examined the snuff container, Chapman asked one of them if he could tell her what it was.
“Yes, but not until we’re on the air,” she recalled him saying.
“My stomach did a flip,” Chapman said.
Before she knew it, she was being led in an out of different rooms and having her hair and makeup done.
“I was shocked,” she said. “I don’t like having my picture taken or anything, then I had to be on national television. My girlfriends had a good time with that.”
Now ready for her closeup as the cameras rolled, Chapman recalled an appraiser telling her the item was a rare snuff container from the late 1800s and valued it at $2,500.
“It’s all hand-blown glass,” she said. “He told me very few had survived because they’d often break from being carried around in saddlebags.”
Rich Pattee, co-owner of Leather or Knot Antiques & Collectibles Mall in Logansport, agreed the piece is unique.
“It’s definitely different, that’s for sure,” he said, praising the intricacies in the glass. “There’s a lot of quality workmanship there.”
Val Farlow, Chapman’s sister-in-law who gave her the snuff container, said it was given to her and her husband by her husband’s uncle about 40 years ago.
“His father was an antiques dealer and when he closed his shop he gave it to his son and told him to hang onto it because it would be worth something someday,” Farlow said.
Also a big fan of “Antiques Roadshow,” Farlow said it was exciting to see Chapman on the previews for the episode she’ll be on this week.
“We’re getting a kick out of just watching the previews,” Farlow said. “We’re anxious for [tonight]. I’m excited for her.”
The episode featuring Chapman will premiere at 8 p.m. tonight on PBS and re-run at 10 p.m. Thursday and 6 p.m. Sunday.
While still camera shy, Chapman said she is looking forward to the episodes as well.
“It was an experience,” she said. “My 15 minutes of fame.”
Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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