The human drama of reality television is mixed with the excitement of revealing some valuable art and antiques on a new FOX-TV series hosted by identical twin brothers Leigh Keno and Leslie Keno. The two Americana experts debut in "Buried Treasure" on Aug. 24 at 8pm/7pm Central.
The duo expands upon the appraisal model from the popular 15-years-running "Antiques Roadshow" on PBS to the more intimate setting of private homes nationwide. They sleuth for worthy finds from basement to attic for people who are often down on their luck, facing money problems or illness.
"We have found treasures from all over the world, valuable and rare objects ranging from 1000 B.C., a Minoan bronze bowl with inscriptions that was buried under a pile of magazines," says Leigh Keno of the discoveries on the show. He continues, "... and a rare Egyptian tomb figure with the figure of Osiris, polychrome painted, that was just sitting in a dresser in a house that had been sort of falling...down."
For some participants in the series, the Keno brothers save the day by unearthing a windfall.
"Well, there’s a number of pieces in the six figures," Leslie reveals of their finds. "The amazing thing is that the family doesn’t know the value and doesn’t realize what they have, which is so exciting...."
But there are also disappointments. To help separate the real from the fake, in paintings to jewelry to antiquities and more, the Kenos bring along a high-tech lab, and sometimes consult "the world’s top experts in a specific area just to be absolutely sure," says Leigh.
Episodes wrap with advice from the Kenos on where to sell any valuables, if the owners are so inclined. The brothers say they offer different routes for the piece to achieve the best price, by directing sales to dealers, auction houses, and collectors.
"It’s a treasure hunting show with real heart and feeling and emotion," says Leslie, "...we do get very involved with not only the owners, but their children and their heirs and sometimes their parents...these objects have sometimes really big emotional attachment with the family."
The Kenos brothers are well-known for their enthusiastic appearances on "Antiques Roadshow," and the former PBS series Find!, as well as their long-running careers in American antiques. Leigh Keno owns Keno Auctions in New York City and Leslie Keno is Senior Vice President and Director of American Furniture and Decorative Arts at Sotheby's.
The pair has reportedly facilitated more than $1 billion in sales of art, antiques and collectibles over the years.