Hidden Treasures: Searching for Masterpieces of American Furniture
, by Leigh Keno and Leslie Keno with Joan Barzilay Freund (Time Warner Books), provides Keno fans a chance to enjoy the brothers far beyond the tidbits of personality doled out on Antiques Roadshow
. Even if you rarely catch the Kenos on television, simply having a penchant for antique furniture or an interest in learning more about it offers a good excuse to add this entertaining book to your reading list.
Getting to Know the Keno Twins
Not only does Hidden Treasures
provide a learning experience well worth the price of the book, it entertains with anecdotes from the adolescent twins who declared themselves "antiques dealers" at age 12 with what is described as a poetic diary entry. Looking back, the twins wax philosophical about their motivation to pursue careers in the antiques field:
"It may seem unusual that Leigh and I were so consumed with the search for and study of antique artifacts, but I don't think we ever had a choice in the matter. It was simply in our blood," Leslie Keno said in the text.
Many people, including myself as the daughter of an antiques dealer, understand this concept completely. Born into the antiques world, some bloodlines are destined to keep the lust for antiquing and related learning alive. Even those who acquired a passion for antiques rather than inheriting it should find the material the twins present before the main course nothing short of amusing.
Passionate Furniture Learning
If you’re not sure what passionate collecting is all about, you don’t have to read far to find out. The first page of chapter one describes a rare mahogany secretary-bookcase of masterpiece furniture
status as "sexy, beguiling and enigmatic." Who could resist the temptation to discover what other valuable seductions lie within?
Winding through a journey filled with auction house and antique gallery excitement, accented by some truly amazing antique furniture discoveries, the Kenos destiny as period furniture experts comes to life as each page turns. Beyond the experiences of the twins, those wanting to learn more about cream of the crop antique furniture will also appreciate delving into the topic with comprehensive illustration.
Of course, if you’re hoping to find values for antique furniture in your own home while reading along, please don’t hold your breath. Unless you’ve quite luckily inherited a masterpiece or somehow managed to pick up a treasure with vastly underestimated value, you’ll find the furniture examined here to be far superior and more costly than pieces found in most collections.
What About Antiques Roadshow?
For many people the Keno twins were the
stars of Antiques Roadshow
years ago. Many more appraisers share their knowledge and research through on-camera evaluations these days, but tried and true Keno devotees still look forward to hearing what they have to say about remarkable furniture finds making their way onto the set.
For these folks, and others who just appreciate the program, the book includes an interesting chapter on Antiques Roadshow experiences to satisfy fans who can't quite get enough.
Whether you’re an ardent collector or a budding furniture admirer seeking tidbits that may help you find a rare piece of your own, this non-fiction foray will not only leave you with a smile; you'll be a bit wiser when it comes to spotting masterpiece furniture on your antiquing adventures. Considering how much those period pieces sell for these days, this could be the best money you've spent on a book in a very long time.
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy