A man from Oregon who bought a $300 clay jug thingy at an estate sale was told during an episode of Antiques Roadshow that it was worth $50,000. Turns out, it’s not...

In actuality, the uh, interesting looking artwork is a piece of clay a high schooler named Betsy Soule sculpted in the ’70s. When the buyer, Alvin Barr, asked for an appraisal from found-object expert Stephen L. Fletcher for PBS’s Antiques Roadshow, it was estimated to be worth $50,000.

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In the episode (beautifully titled “Grotesque Face Jug”), which aired last year, Fletcher called the jug “bizarre and wonderful” and made a Picasso comparison. Mashable reports:

He estimated the piece was made in the late 19th or early 20th century, and valued it at around $50,000.

“What?” shouted Barr, understandably.

Unfortunately for both Barr and Fletcher, these estimates were a little off the mark. The jug was actually made in the early 1970s — not by a professional potter, but by horse trainer Betsy Soule in her high school ceramics class.

Heh. Whoops.

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“It was covered with dirt and straw,” Barr told Fletcher in the episode. “Looked like some chicken droppings were on it. It was very dirty. I had to have it.”

The jug’s creator, Soule, got hip to the clay mishap when a friend who saw the Antiques Roadshow episode alerted her about “that weird pot you made” being featured on the show.

Roadshow has corrected the error, listing its appraised price as $3,000–$5,000, which is still too much money.


Image via PBS