Senator John Heinz History Center

August 17
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

A giant ram’s head statue and an antique skibob are just two of the many collectible and quirky items you can find at Pittsburgh’s Hidden Treasures.

Setting up shop inside the Senator John Heinz History Center on Sunday, August 17th, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the seventh annual Pittsburgh’s Hidden Treasures Appraisal Event is expected to draw some 1,500 visitors, with their prized possessions in tow, to the Strip District-based venue.

Teaming up with KDKA-TV, the History Center will welcome 30 professional appraisers and conservators, including an expert from the Smithsonian Institution, who will be on hand to assess the historical significance of visitors’ items and provide a verbal assessment of potential monetary value.

Fans of the long-running PBS television program, Antiques Roadshow, should not miss this rare chance to get a glimpse of the appraising action as it happens and to experience the excitement and wonder of discovering the history of a collectible object in person. Unusual items and novelty antiques are a common sight at Pittsburgh’s Hidden Treasures, and appraisers apply their expertise and quick thinking to determine exactly what some of the pieces actually are, how they were once used and their approximate worth.

Participating appraisers, most of whom hail from right here in Western PA, have knowledge about a wide variety of antique goods, including books, china, militaria, coins, collectibles, furniture, glass, jewelry, paintings, photographs, quilts, silver, sports memorabilia and toys.

One of the History Center’s largest annual events, this year’s installment will also feature conservator Antje Neumann, from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, who will provide handy DIY preservation tips to the public.

During the lively event, KDKA-TV’s Dave Crawley, Kimberly Gill and Mary Robb Jackson will seek out the most fascinating items for spotlight interviews. Those wares deemed the most unique will be featured during special 30-minute programs on KDKA-TV later this year, in segments hosted by KDKA’s Ken Rice and Heinz History Center president and CEO Andy Masich.

Visitors to Pittsburgh’s Hidden Treasures can also meet with professionals from the History Center’s new Museum Conservation Center. Opening on September 20th, the Museum Conservation Center—located at 1221 Penn Avenue—will provide visitors with advice on how to preserve antiques and family heirlooms, including works of art, photographs, wedding dresses, furniture and more. Also planned for the new Center will be a series of conservation workshops designed to educate the public about museum-quality techniques for preserving heirlooms and antiques. When the new Conservation Center opens during the fall of 2014, the History Center will become one of the first museums in the country to provide professional conservation services directly to the public.

Added bonus? During Pittsburgh’s Hidden Treasures, History Center members will be admitted to the event at 9 a.m., one hour before the museum opens to the public, to meet with professional appraisers and conservators in a more intimate and exclusive setting.

Pittsburgh’s Hidden Treasures is free to History Center members and included with regular admission for non-members ($15 adults; $13 seniors; $6 students and children age 6-17; and free for children age 5 and under).

Jennifer Baron

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator...