Stephen Padlo of Upper Pittsgrove, New Jersey was one of the youngest “up-and-coming collectors” that the staff at Antiques Roadshow had ever met.
It’s not normally a show we think of kids watching, but it was clear that this preteen was pretty stoked to show off his treasure.
According to NJ.com, Stephen’s father Frank said the pair have attended show events in other cities, but this was the first time Stephen asked to be filmed with one of his finds. If you watch the show, you know that some of the reveals can be a big letdown when someone finds out their “treasure” is worth nothing at all.
On the Road
This time, Stephen sidled up to the appraisal table across from David Weiss in Richmond, Virginia with a painting he had purchased at an auction for just $2.
But the folks on the show weren’t just humoring him.
The show typically stars regular people who bring in family mementos and yard sale finds for a professional appraisal (though some are more serious collectors) and are eager to hear they’ve “struck gold.”
Stephen and his father Frank were fortunate enough to score tickets to the Virginia stop, which meant a road trip. After all, people will go to great lengths to get on the show.
It was there that Stephen met Weiss, an appraiser from the Philadelphia auction house Freeman’s.
We must say, we really appreciated how respectful he was with the young man. At no point was he condescending and he spoke to Stephen as he would any other guest.
And Stephen rose to the occasion as well.
He’s a pretty confident kid!
“You must be the youngest collector I’ve seen,” Weiss says at one point.”
The preteen replies; “I must be.”
Weiss: “You like buying and selling things?”
Stephen: “Big time.”
And the painting wasn’t some one-off thing the preteen decided to buy. He collects glass, sterling silver, and other art!
This particular piece of art was one that caught his eye at a big auction.
“This piece was found at an auction down in South Jersey,” he explained. “It was so hot there my dad didn’t want to stay to get it, but I wanted to so we waited an hour or so and I got it for two bucks.”
The wait pays off
Stephen had a good eye that day when he picked up the watercolor.
Weiss explained to him that the painting was likely done in the late 19th century.
As you can see, it shows a woman engaged in some sewing, knitting, or repairing of a household item while a child sits by with a toy, watching her. It’s a simple household scene.
But down in the corner is the even bigger clue to its origins – a faint signature that reads “Albert Neuhuys.”
Neuhuys was a Dutch painter who lived from 1844 to 1914.
Popular in his own time, he often painted interior scenes with peasants as his subjects. He would often sketch the families of local farmers and weavers.
Weiss told Stephen it was a great find and hinted that it indicated a possible career as an art collector.
“I think you’ve got a great career going as an art dealer. You ought to keep at it,” he told the boy.
But what’s it worth?
The artist often made copies of his watercolors, making very few of them “one of a kind.”
Whatever research he did prior to the show led the youngster to believe the painting was still a good investment, possibly being worth $150.
He’s on the edge of his seat when Weiss tells him it’s worth more than that.
Stephen’s reaction (including his “mind-blowing” fist pump) is a must-see in the video below.
But needless to say, he’s pretty stunned at the real value.
All he can say is “Whoa!”
Be sure to scroll down below to watch it all unfold. It’s a great clip!
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