'Antiques Roadshow' erroneously appraises high school art project at $50,000

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Jug Created By High School Student Mistakenly Valued At $50,000 On Antiques Roadshow

Kids, hold on to your macaroni art, because the Roadshow isn't always right.

Years ago, Alvin Barr purchased a mysterious clay jug for $300 at a Eugene, Oregon estate sale. Unsure about the piece's origins, he brought it to appraiser Stephen L. Fletcher when PBS's Antiques Roadshow came to Spokane, Washington.

Image: pbs

Fletcher was stunned. "This, in its own way, is really over-the-top," he told Barr, also likening the many-faced sculpture to a work by Picasso. He estimated the piece was made in the late 19th or early 20th century, and valued it at around $50,000.

"What?" shouted Barr, understandably.

Unfortunately for both Barr and Fletcher, these estimates were a little off the mark. The jug was actually made in the early 1970s — not by a professional potter, but by horse trainer Betsy Soule in her high school ceramics class.

When the Roadshow episode aired in January, Soule got a call from a friend: "You've got to get on the internet and look up Antiques Roadshow. That weird pot you made is on there."

Eventually, Antiques Roadshow and Soule cleared up the mistake. Fletcher has since posted a correction to his appraisal on the PBS website. "Obviously, I was mistaken as to its age by 60 to 80 years," he wrote. "I feel the value at auction, based on its quality and artistic merit, is in the $3,000-$5,000 range."

"Still not bad for a high-schooler in Oregon," he added.

[H/T: cfile]

RELATED: See photos of a pait of siamese twins' chair on "Antiques Roadshow":
8 PHOTOS
Siamese twins' chair on 'Antiques Roadshow'
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'Antiques Roadshow' erroneously appraises high school art project at $50,000
circa 1865: The most famous Siamese twins, Chang and Eng Bunker (1811 - 1874), after whom the rare condition is named. Born in Siam (modern Thailand), they married two sisters and had nine children each, eventually dying on the same day. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Photo credit: PBS
Photo credit: PBS
circa 1865: The most famous Siamese twins, Chang and Eng Bunker (1811 - 1874), after whom the rare condition is named. Born in Siam (modern Thailand), they married two sisters and had nine children each, eventually dying on the same day. (Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)
Photo credit: PBS
The Ringling Circus Museum in Sarasota, Florida, 1986. Exhibited are sideshow advertisements for midget performer General Tom Thumb, original Siamese twins Chang and Eng Bunker and 'fat lady' Alice from Dallas, aka Alice Julian. (Photo by Alfred Gescheidt/Getty Images)
circa 1870: The most famous of Siamese twins, Chang and Eng Bunker (1811 - 1874), after whom the rare condition is named. Born in Siam (modern Thailand), they married two sisters and had nine children each, eventually dying on the same day. (Photo by London Stereoscopic Company/Getty Images)
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