Canadian Pickers coming to Newfoundland

Chantelle MacIsaac
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Scott Cozens and Sheldon Smithens will be returning to Newfoundland to film more episodes of Canadian Pickers this summer.

Sheldon Smithens, left, and Scott Cozens have already made one trip to Newfoundland for their show Canadian Pickers and they’re planning to return this June.

Smithens is a third-generation antiques dealer, auctioneer and appraiser. He also teaches continuing education courses in antiques collecting at the University of Calgary in Alberta.

Our reporter, Chantelle MacIsaac, interviewed Smithens on April 8. Through Facebook, we asked you which questions you would like us to ask during that interview. Here is what he had to say:

Q: What was the oldest piece that you have come across during your travels?

A: “Occasionally we find ancient artifacts. Just last week we found a dug-out canoe in Quebec that is approximately 200 years old.”

Q: What might an item be here in Newfoundland that we don’t see as valuable but you guys could potentially make a lot of money from?

A: “The last time we were in Newfoundland we came across a lot of primitive furniture, and some pieces we did exceptionally well on. One piece was a chest of drawers that was made out of salt cod boxes.”

Q: How does the selection process work? Do you know where you will be going in Newfoundland?

A: “No, in fact I don’t think the production crew knows where we are going yet. People are nominated through the television show. Travel is an issue, we do like to have people or places that are closer together so we can get at least one, preferably two done a day.”

Q: What is your favourite item that you have found?

A: “That would be the dug-out canoe that we found. I will be taking that one home with me I can’t part with it. Another item that I kept as a personal favourite came from Newfoundland in our last visit. It’s called a look box. It is used for looking under the surface of the water.”

Q: Where is your favourite place to visit?

A: “Both Scott and I have said that Newfoundland is among one of our favourite places to visit. It was so much fun, we loved meeting the people, eating scrunchins and cod tongues. We would hope to be able to tack on some extra time around the show and bring our families to visit.”

Q: Do you ever have people wanting to pick through your things?

A: “Actually, no. I tend to not collect things: I usually buy and sell right away. Scott, on the other hand, just recently held an auction and was able to get rid of a lot of the things he has collected over the years.”

Q: Have you ever found body parts or other freaky items?

A: “Thankfully, no. We have found an occasional tooth, and we have come across Victorian jewelry that was made from human hair. We found a trepanning device one time. They were used years and years ago to core into the skull to relieve pressure off of the brain.”

Q: Have you ever thought of doing a crossover show with Hoarders?

A: “(Laughs), I can see why someone would think to ask that question, but the difference between a collector and a hoarder is that normally hoarders are not willing to get rid of their stuff, so no.”

Q: What is the most expensive piece you have found, or worth the most?

A: “A hard question, but perhaps pocket watches are the common pieces that are worth the most. We have sold a few between $3,000 and $5,000. We haven’t come across anything worth more than tens of thousands, usually in the hundreds of dollar range and a lot of times they are in the tens of dollar range. We tend to look for things that are more unique, and not so much for their dollar value.”

Q: Which piece have you picked that had the most history behind it?

A: “We found an old hooked rug one time. That rug belonged to Lucy Maud Montgomery.”

Q: Are you looking for a particular item when you come to Newfoundland?

A: “No actually, we never know what we are going to find, the exciting part is perhaps finding something that you would never dream of finding.”

The Canadian Pickers are set to film sometime in June, but said they don’t visit people who have one or two items to look at.

Smithens said that he would love to be able to travel and set up a booth and have people bring their items in to look at but it’s not possible at this time.

They will be looking for people who have basements, attics or barns full of items.

Smithens said he is looking forward to returning to the province and spending time with the locals. He loves to travel all over Canada, stating that although people are from all different backgrounds, they are similar in many ways.

If you are interested in nominating someone you know or yourself for the show, you can contact them at canadianpickers@cineflex.com, or by calling (416) 531-2500 ext: 634. The show’s website is www.canadianpickers.com.

Organizations: University of Calgary

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Alberta, Quebec Canada

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  • Harold
    July 01, 2013 - 09:32

    If you will be coming to nl in the Bay Roberts area I have a few items of interest. I have a Picture of Colonel Saunders and myself with an poloride camera in the 70's, his signature. A hormer buttem accorden about 70 or 80 years old, etc Comic books donald duck, archie. old tools and old tool box. Do you have any suggestions on how I can get this stuff appraised. I really enjoy your show Harold