We don’t usually watch Antiques Roadshow but when we heard about a valuable prop from one of the most iconic movies of the 20th Century being brought in to be appraised, we couldn’t help but tune in.
During Monday’s episode, an unknown man brought in the actual Ark of the Covenant prop used during the filming of Raiders of the Lost Ark. The seller revealed the Ark had been passed down to him by his father, who had once worked as an Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) employee for movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark and Star Wars.
“My father worked on the film, and we’ve had it in our apartment in San Francisco when I was growing up, and now it’s been passed on to me,” the owner of the ark said on the show. “I got to tell my friends that I had the Ark of the Covenant at home. It was a lot of fun.”
After examining the Ark, Antiques Roadshow appraiser James Supp explained why this particular item is so valuable despite being “just a thrown-together movie prop.”
“This has every indication that it’s just a thrown-together movie prop,” Supp said in the video. “You’ve got a hot-melt glue gun doing all the fancy designs. All this trim here is made from picture frames. And my favorite part is, these tops here are made from trophies.”
“This is the closest anybody in the private market can get to owning the Ark of the Covenant from the Raiders of the Lost Ark,” he continued. “We estimate at auction a very conservative value of $80,000 to $120,000. Realistically, I can see it getting into quarter-million-dollar range.”
After hearing how much the Ark would fetch at an auction, the owner jokingly replied, “Not bad for hot glue and spray paint.”
Check out the full video below, courtesy of Antiques Roadshow.