Antiques Roadshow guest receives disappointing news about this vintage item


During a special episode of Antiques roadshow Airing earlier this month, PBS introduced viewers to some of the show’s most visually interesting elements. One of them was a poster for “The Great Karlini”, a magician in Europe in the early 1930s. The owner of the poster thought it was worth between $ 8,000 and $ 10,000, but the appraiser Nicolas D. Lowry had bad news.

In the segment, shot in Chicago in 2014, the owner of the poster said he got his hands on it after a friend’s mother died. The strikingly designed poster shows the face of a magician named Karlini, with green smoke and a glowing magic wand. As Lowry explained, there was a magician who used the stage name Karlini. He was Dutch and his real name was Ludwig Trinka. He toured Germany and Austria in the early 1930s. Citing an Internet source, Lowry noted that Trinka was arrested twice by the Nazis during WWII and may have collaborated with the French Metro. This information is published on, although this site does not provide further citations for his biography on Karlini.

The person whose owner obtained the poster claimed it was worth up to $ 10,000. Lowry disagreed. Although he confirmed that the poster was from the 1930s and was genuine, he said it was only worth around $ 1,000. This is because Karlini is just not as well known as other magicians of his generation, in particular. Only an authentic poster featuring Harry Houdini, who died in 1926, would be worth between $ 8,000 and $ 10,000, Lowry explained.

The owner didn’t seem too disappointed with the lower than expected value of the poster. “The reality is he’s going back to the wall,” he told Lowry. “I’ll keep it, so… okay, but thank you.” The rating was featured in the episode “Body of work“, which debuted on PBS on November 1. The full episode, which featured other reviews of single objects with body parts, is available on the Antiques roadshow YouTube page for free.

The American version of Antiques roadshow debuted in 1997 and is produced by WGBH, the Boston-based PBS member station. The series is based on a British series of the same name, which has been airing since 1979. The American Antiques roadshow was renewed for a 26th season, which will debut in 2022. The episodes were filmed in Middletown, Connecticut; Bretton Woods, New Hampshire; Long Island, New York; Williamsburg, Virginia; and Hamilton, New Jersey.

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