New season of ‘Arizona Collectibles’ showcases swath of Arizona history

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The fourth season of “Arizona Collectibles” on Arizona PBS features nearly $500,000 in antiques, heirlooms and memorabilia from across the state, each with its own unique story.

Radio personality Beth McDonald, who has been on-air at Phoenix-based 99.9 FM KEZ for more than 30 years, returns to host “Arizona Collectibles” for its latest season. The 13-episode, locally produced series premieres Thursday, Oct. 5, at 7:30 p.m.

Individual episodes of “Arizona Collectibles” also are available on Arizona PBS Passport two weeks before premiering on air. Arizona PBS Passport is a member benefit that gives eligible donors access to a library of public television programming on demand on computers and digital devices such as Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku.

“‘Arizona Collectibles’ is so much fun because of the people who share their family stories and heirlooms with us,” said Arizona PBS producer Margery Punnett. “This season brings some memorable stories to life through interesting heirlooms and artifacts.”

Punnett said that this season’s submissions included a surprising number of dioramas, two of which were made by Runar Gustav Rodell, a Swedish immigrant who settled in Prescott, Arizona.

“We had a lot of amazing pieces come through our doors this year,” she said. “But this was the season of dioramas.”

Season 4 also showcases items such as a mastodon tooth, crazy quilts, two 19th century bicycles and an animal encyclopedia from the 1550s. In all, nearly 1,000 Arizona residents brought in their antiques throughout the annual evaluation weekend in April at Arizona PBS.

Over the years, “Arizona Collectibles” appraisers have discovered and evaluated a Charles Russell painting worth close to a million dollars, an extensive collection of advertising materials created for the Edsel worth close to $250,000, iconic pieces of Tiffany & Co. jewelry as well as hundreds of other items.

In the past four years, more than 5,000 people have visited the downtown Arizona PBS studios to take part in the Arizona Collectibles Evaluation Weekend. Production crews shoot 130 to 140 individual segments with the appraisers and guests in order to create the 13 episodes of “Arizona Collectibles.”

“Arizona Collectibles” is an Arizona PBS original production made possible by Biltmore Loan,  English Rose Tea Room and the Friends of Arizona PBS members who give additional gifts to support local original programming.

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