Fort Worth

Sculpture discovered at Fort Worth ‘Antiques Roadshow’ taping could be worth hundreds of thousands

Eric Silver, left, appraises an Auguste Rodin "Eternal Spring" bronze in Fort Worth.
Eric Silver, left, appraises an Auguste Rodin "Eternal Spring" bronze in Fort Worth. PBS

A trip to Fort Worth could potentially turn into big money for a Houston man and his family.

James Keener stopped by the Fort Worth Convention Center last summer for a taping of Antiques Roadshow with a family heirloom sculpture.

In the episode, which aired Monday night on PBS, Eric Silver appraised the Auguste Rodin bronze sculpture Eternal Spring, which could be worth between $400,000 and $500,000.

“I was amazed. Completely blown away,” Keener told the Dallas Observer. “I didn’t expect a number like that at all. I was thinking maybe a few thousand. You can probably see it on television. It was a little bit of disbelief there at that amount.”

The sculpture was passed down in Keener’s family eventually to his parents, who told him he could have it when their time came.

“[My parents] considered it mine when I went, but at that point, no. ‘Mom, Dad, this is yours.’ They’ve been handling it since then. We’ve all been very interested and helping, but at that point, it kind of becomes a family object,” Keener told the Observer.

Keener sent it to the Comité Auguste Rodin in France, which verified its authenticity and added it to Rodin’s catalogue raisonné.

He said the family plans on auctioning off the sculpture.

“Hopefully it’s sold for a lot of money. It really depends, from what we understand, on what the bidders want to bid. At the same time, it’s just an estimate. We hope for more,” he told the newspaper.

Silver, the appraiser, said during the episode, one sold for $450,000 in June in London.

“We actually see a lot of Rodins on the show and every single one is a fake or reproduction. Same way we see Remington bronzes at every show...,” Silver said on the episode. “In the 21 years of the roadshow, there’s been one authentic Remington bronze, and you’ve probably come in with the only authentic Rodin bronze ever to come in to the show.”

Hit TV show Antiques Roadshow appraised thousands of antiques for thousands of antique collectors, all hoping their attic find is a valuable treasure.

The first of the three Fort Worth episodes aired on Monday, but you can still watch it here on the PBS website. Other items featured on the show include a group of rock ’n’ roll concert posters, a Daum Nancy Cameo glass vase and a 1937 Eloise Polk McGill Flowering Cactus oil painting.

Part two airs Jan. 9 and part three on Jan. 16 on KERA.

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