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Hamilton woman to appear on PBS' 'Antiques Roadshow' Monday

Francye Largeman and her family watch "The Antiques Roadshow" every week. When Largeman found out the show was coming to Atlanta (actually in the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park near the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport), the Hamilton resident bought tickets for herself and her husband, Joseph, a dentist in Columbus.

Her teenagers ­-- Ellie, 17, and Kobe, 16, both Harris County High School students -- were jealous.

"They were so upset because I only bought two tickets," she said.

Largeman, an audiologist who works in LaGrange, took a hand-painted buffalo hide rug to be appraised by the show's staff.

Largeman purchased the rug for $300 from the caretaker of a lake house the couple previously owned. The caretaker sold the rug to Largeman when she had the lake house remodeled in Adirondack style. He convinced Largeman that the rug would match the new design, and he told the couple that the buffalo rug had just been stored in a closet for 30 years.

Curious about how much the rug was worth, the Largemans took the rug to Atlanta last August for a taping of "The Antiques Roadshow."

They were surprised how many people came to the show's taping.

"There were so many people in these unspeakably long lines," she said.

Her husband dropped her off with the rug to stand in line while he parked the car.

She said the rug is about 10-feet-by-7-feet and is very, very heavy, about 200 pounds. At that point, Largeman wished she had purchased tickets for her kids, so they could help her handle the rug.

"I got to be friends with everyone in line because I kept bumping into them, dragging, pushing and shoving the bulky package," she said.

"It took several hours," Largeman said. "There were so many people with so many things. They break you out into different lines. There were jewelry, art, folk art, furniture, pottery lines ... There was a maze of people."

She waited in the artifacts line.

After dragging, pushing and shoving her rug from one line to another for what seemed like a long time, she was directed to wait a bit longer in a room with other people.

"They don't tell you anything. You wait some more. A whole bunch of people look at your stuff. From that room, we then get placed into another room."

There, the guests are given tea and coffee and potato chips.

Finally, some guests are chosen to tape segments for the show.

After six hours of waiting, Largeman was chosen.

The rug was estimated to be worth $1,000 to $2,000 and is believed to have been made in the 1920s or '30s.

"I didn't know how old it was or where it came from or its provenance. It had been in his (the caretaker's) family for over 30 years. He didn't even know how long."

The show's appraisers said the rug would have been worth considerably more if not for a repair that makes the rug unauthentic.

"If it were authentic, it would have been fixed with sinew. It was repaired with thread," she said.

The rug now hangs on the wall in her Hamilton home, and she's glad she went to the show's taping.

"It was fun. I cannot say how wonderful an experience it was. I saw so many interesting things, odd things. It was cool. I don't know if I'll do it again, but I finally had an opportunity to do that. It was just wonderful."

Largeman's segment on the "Antiques Roadshow" can be seen at 8 p.m. Monday on Georgia Public Television.

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