Antiques Roadshow appraiser Christopher Coover passed away this month, his family has revealed. Coover was known for offering his expertise on rare books, manuscripts and printed ephemera in the beloved PBS antique show. He was 72 years old when he passed away on Sunday, April 3, 2022.
Coover's son Timothy Coover announced his death to The New York Times. He said that Coover had died of complications with pneumonia and Parkinson's disease. He was in a hospital in Livingston, New Jersey at the time. Livingston is a familiar face on TV where he offered his services on Antiques Roadshow for 14 seasons from 1998 to 2011. He was the series' go-to expert on all printed material, which sadly meant that he was often tasked with informing people that their old bibles were not worth as much as they had hoped.
Coover had some exciting finds throughout the years as well. In one episode of Antiques Roadshow, he appraised an inscribed copy of the Show Boat score from 1928 at $5,000 to $7,000 in value, according to a report by Deadline. In another, he identified a German atlas from 1737 worth $10,000 at auction and $15,000 in a direct sale. He even verified the authenticity of a speech and funeral invitation inscribed by Abraham Lincoln, which he appraised at $77,500.
Coover reportedly worked at Christie's auction house in Manhattan, New York for 35 years as well. He handled some historic treasures in his time there, including the Leonardo da Vinci "Codex Hammer" which sold for a record-breaking $30.2 million. It contained the late genius' observations on water, wind and cosmology.
One of Coover's biggest projects was the sale of a collection of American historical documents including letters written by at least 15 presidents. The collection was amassed by Malcolm Forbes and it sold for over $40 million after a full appraisal. A few years later in 2001, Coover oversaw the sale of Jack Kerouac's infamous "scroll" manuscript for On the Road. It went for $2.46 million.
Coover lived in Montclair, New Jersey, at the time of his passing. He is survived by his wife Lois Adams, his daughter Chloe and his son Timothy, as well as two sisters. Antiques Roadshow is streaming now on the PBS app as well as Hoopla, FuboTV and Britbox.