“Collectors” Series – What do you think?


Apple-Touch-IconAI received an interesting telephone call last week from a very nice fellow named Chris with Architect Films in Toronto, Canada. After trading calls, we eventually had a nice talk regarding the possibility of them coming to Houston to include my Bitters Collection in their Collectors series. We finished the call with saying we will talk again. I did, by the way, check them out.They seem to be real.


This weekend I received the following email from Joan Cabaniss who is the President of the Antique Poison Bottle Collectors Association (APBCA).


Dear Joan,

Thanks for the nice chat this afternoon. Here’s the info for your members.

My name is Catherine May and I work for television series called “Collectors” that celebrates collectors and collections all over North America. I would love to be able to include a poison bottle collection in the show.

Here’s some info about the show:

In each of 14 half-hour episodes, we’ll visit a different city/region to meet 4 different collectors. Our pilot episode took place in Los Angeles and featured collectors of die cast toys, antique hats and hat boxes, Wonder Woman memorabilia, and several hundred snow globes amassed by actor Corben Bernsen of “L.A. Law”.

We are based in Toronto and the show will initially be shown on the Slice Network across Canada. (“Slice” is like “slice of life”.) Most Canadian series are eventually sold and shown all over the world and we expect that to be the case for “Collectors”.

“Collectors” is hosted by a highly knowledgeable collector-appraiser with over 30 years of experience including multiple years as an expert on “Antiques Roadshow”. Participants who appear on the show are compensated financially for their time ($750 US) and are furnished with a video record of their collection in the form of a DVD of their episode.

We’re seeking people with extensive home-based collections (as opposed to people with private museums or retail outlets). All of the collections we’ve filmed have been very nicely displayed whether the collector lived in a modest apartment or grand home. While its not the focus on the show, the collector should be comfortable with having our host estimate its total value. Given that the collections we showcase are highly valuable (so far they range from $20K to 10 million) collectors’ privacy is maintained by referring to them on the program by first name only, and providing viewers with only the most general information about where in the country they live.

The cities we will be travelling to first are Dallas, Miami and Las Vegas but I would happy to hear from any collector in the US or Canada who thinks they might be a good fit for the series.

Thanks very much and best regards,

Catherine May

Architect Films (416) 466-5888 Ext 271

I am curious if anyone else has been contacted? I know Bob Ferraro was. Would you be interested in being included? Is this good for the hobby?

This is the second studio that has contacted us this past year. After thinking it would be pretty cool, I mentioned it to my wife Elizabeth. She kind of freaked out. We have had some limited experience with television and commercials and understand a typical, 60 second commercial taking all day to film with dozens of people being involved including actors, technicians, catering, wardrobe etc.

“While its not the focus on the show, the collector should be comfortable with having our host estimate its total value.” 

The part where they ask you the value of your collection and have an ‘expert’ give you an appraisal is also kind of humorous. So many pros and cons here. Chris did ask for other names of collectors and I did draw the line there and withheld my comments.

About Ferdinand Meyer V

Ferdinand Meyer V is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and has a BFA in Fine Art and Graphic Design from the Kansas City Art Institute and School of Design. Ferdinand is the founding Principal of FMG Design, a nationally recognized design consultation firm. Ferdinand is a passionate collector of American historical glass specializing in bitters bottles, color runs and related classic figural bottles. He is married to Elizabeth Jane Meyer and lives in Houston, Texas with their daughter and three wonderful grandchildren. The Meyers are also very involved in Quarter Horses, antiques and early United States postage stamps. Ferdinand is the past 6-year President of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors and is one of the founding members of the FOHBC Virtual Museum.
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10 Responses to “Collectors” Series – What do you think?

  1. Dana Charlton-Zarro says:

    I’d be extremely cautious about this. The fact that you’re asking indicates to me that you have a question about it. They seem to be stroking the collector’ ego in order to get their “foot” in the door . . . please be careful. Their website is surprisingly empty. Just sayin’.

  2. mikedickman says:

    I also received Joan’s email and had the same initial reaction as Ferd: at first blush, it sounded like a cool idea. But when I read the email to my wife Marcy, she had Elizabeth’s reaction: she kind of freaked out at the idea of letting a tv production crew into our home for the day. I also don’t see how, realistically, they could protect the privacy of the featured collector. Bottom line: I’m going to pass.

  3. Ferd, For your investigation of AF:

    What I found interesting is that nowhere could I find a reference to an AF film on Snow Globes. Also odd that they did not provide the name of the “presenter” who was on Antiques Roadshow. They do show up on a Toronto Film and Television Office production list for September 2011 for a TV show called “Cold Cash”. You might contact the Toronto Film and TV Office to see what they know about them. http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/toronto/content?vgnextoid=c46ee719e2754310VgnVCM1000003dd60f89RCRD

    Without being able to see any evidence of what they are doing re: Collectors, it’s tough to know whether it’s a smart thing to engage them. If you do, double your insurance policy on the goods, but money can’t replace rarity or uniqueness.

    Ken Previtali

  4. mctaggart67 says:

    I can’t speak to Architect Films, though they are a legitimate tv production enterprise (its “small” website merely reflects its typically “small” status in an age of extremely specialized tv shows, most of which are created by small studio firms). However, I had a spot on the Canadian Pickers’ episode “Guys and Gas,” as the appraiser of poison bottles. I found the crew to be extremely mindful of my collection. They respected my “ask first before touching” condition and they were very careful about moving through restricted spaces with cameras and electrical cords. The camera guy at first found it a challenge to film bottles, but once he got it down, he spent around a half-hour filming from different angles, doing running shots (running meaning scanning along a shelf or cabinet with the camera and not him actually running). All in all, it was a blast. Moreover, being on the show has gotten me some wonderful leads and ins with collectors heretofore unknown to me. As to security, yes, this is a concern, but, to be perfectly honest, I am more worried about a random break-in and senseless smashing rampage than I am of someone plotting a theft based on my tv appearance. Besides, once you have a web presence, pretty much anyone with the right combination of devious imagination and plain smarts could locate your home and thus your collection.

  5. Froggy says:

    I like sharing my collection with trusted, like-minded fellow collectors. To be in a major production, having my privacy invaded by non-collecting strangers does not appeal to me at all. It’s all for the production company’s gain; for me the real and imagined downsides far outweigh any potential benefits.

  6. harmonicacollector says:

    I was one of the responders to Architect films regarding the collector show and agreed to them coming and filming my collection (antique and unusual harmonicas) and me. From first contact (on their part) to clean up after the filming they were VERY professional. The appraiser did his homework and was pretty well versed in antique harmonicas but he brought another very well know person with him to help out. Nothing missing, nothing broken and they enjoyed my collection and asked great questions. I look forward to seeing the final production.

    • After some hesitation, I agreed to have the collection on their show. Their 5 member team filmed for a long, almost 12 hour day, and they were extremely professional and I had some fun too. This was back in early May. They followed up with a different 2 member team for detail work. These two were also very professional and friendly. All in all, a good experience so far.

  7. harmonicacollector says:

    The show airs on the SLICE network at 9pm est on Monday, September 2 and is called Extreme Collectors. I don’t know when the episode featuring my collection will air but the promo for the show looks great.

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