Hidden Treasures: Searching for Masterpieces of American Furniture

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Leigh Keno and Leslie Keno

There's a heightened drama to watching Antiques Roadshow on television that is akin to watching someone scratch off the last number of a lottery ticket -- the person could be holding something of extreme value or of little consequence. On Antiques Roadshow, experts tell people whether they have a "match" and are in possession of a valuable antique or simply have another run-of-the-mill object.

Leigh and Leslie Keno, the twin-brother experts who appear on Antiques Roadshow, have now written a book chronicling their history of discovering rare antiques -- Hidden Treasures: Searching for Masterpieces of American Furniture.

These brothers have literally spent a lifetime learning about antiques. By the time the boys were 12, they were already dealers and were more than a bit familiar with the world of flea markets, tag sales, and antique shops. Having been raised in a home where they learned that the intrinsic value of an antique lies in its rarity and beauty, the brothers took that knowledge and built a life around what quickly became an obsession.

In Hidden Treasures the Kenos' passion is not explained in a dry, academic lecture; instead, they detail some of the most exciting antiques hunts they've had. Although they are both obviously experts, there are still pieces that experts can question or pass over because years of refinishing and reupholstering have disguised the original design. Sometimes even experts can feel like they're on the other side of the table at Antiques Roadshow. In Hidden Treasures the Kenos face some trials, but their skill and determination always leads them to success.

The brothers, who alternate writing chapters, don't simply want to tell readers about the fun they have -- they want the readers to understand antiques. Hidden Treasures is filled with photographs of the rare and beautiful pieces discussed in the text. Many of the pieces are shown in a series of photographs to explain exactly why those pieces are works of such incredible craftsmanship.

Reading Hidden Treasures will not turn someone into the experts that Leigh and Leslie are. But it does allow for a much greater understanding of the antiques world that they love. They teach readers to appreciate the beauty that can transform an everyday object into a work of art, and in doing so, they teach readers to keep their eyes open to the beauty that people miss every day.

November 2, 2000 by Warner Books

Tags: 2000, All Products, Art, Contemporary, Leigh Keno

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