July 29, 2011 at 10:38 AM ET
Well, this is a nice way to kick off retirement.
Doug, an Oklahoma art collector, learned he no longer had to worry about his pension fund during a taping of "Antiques Roadshow" last week. As it turned out, he was the proud owner of five 17th century rhinoceros-horn bowls from China that were worth between $1 million and $1.5 million.
The man stopped by TODAY on Friday morning to show off three of the bowls. Hosts Matt Lauer and Ann Curry stood back in awe at both the artistry and the value of the pieces.
"This is every collector's dream," noted Lauer, who asked the collector how he felt when he learned the appraised price -- which set a record for the highest-appraised value in "Roadshow's" 16 years.
"The analogy I use -- I had a real good friend of mine cut a tree down on me about three years ago, broke my ankle and leg, and it’s similar to that, without the pain," Doug joked.
Now the only problem is that these wonderful little bowls (the first of which was purchased in England) have to go into a vault, rather than in a place where Doug can enjoy them on a daily basis.
"It's a double-edged sword," he said. "I'd like to keep the collection together if at all possible, and somewhere I could have visitation rights."
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