Paul Brown is a modern-day treasure hunter.
It’s not necessarily the loot he’s interested in, but the hunt.
“There’s still treasure in this world and plenty of it,” said Brown, star of the Discovery Channel’s Auction Kings and owner of Gallery 63, his auction house in Sandy Springs, Ga. “There’s still treasure out there and you’ve just got to go look for it.”
Brown is headed to the area Saturday for the Columbia County’s Columbus Day Antique and Art Festival at Evans Towne Center Park.
He’ll share his history growing up as a fourth generation in the antiques and auction business, along with anecdotes from his experiences running his own auction house.
“I love to chat with folks and hear their stories,” Brown said. “I love to learn and share mine. ... I’m sure there’s some great stuff down there.”
Brown will speak at noon at the family festival that also will include inflatables, a petting zoo, a farmers market, arts and crafts vendors and food provided by the Augusta Italian-American Club.
Brown will channel a little Antiques Roadshow as he gives informal assessments and appraisals for items brought in by a list of people who signed up ahead of time. That list is full, said Virginia Atkins, Columbia County community events specialist.
“He will still be there to meet and greet festival attendees,” said Atkins. “I think he’s going to have some great stories from the Auction Kings show, I think he’s going to have some really good insights to collecting antiques and giving the backgrounds and histories of pieces, It think it’s going to be just a good time.”
Brown has been around the antiques auction business his entire life as his father owned Red Baron’s Antiques in Atlanta. Brown started working in his father’s business in 1989 and branched out on his own with Gallery 63 in 2006.
“It’s taken on a life of its own,” Brown said. “I think an auction house, in general, tends to take on the personality of the people running it. For whatever reason, we kind of like oddball, unique, one-of-a-kind or very few-of-a-kind items. That’s the kind of things that appeal to me.”
The third season of Auction Kings recently aired and Brown is currently taping the fourth season.
The show is fun, Brown said. It was a little surreal at first going from an unknown “junk dealer” to being well-known. He’s glad to portray Georgians in a positive manner.
But it’s the antique business that is really satisfying. Brown enjoys not just finding hidden treasures, but helping their owners sell them for what is sometimes much-needed money.
Despite his profession, Brown said he’s not much of a collector.
“I get to have that little rush. I get to have that little fun, just by having it in my possession for a short time,” Brown said. “I get to learn about it. I get to appreciate it. Then I get to find it a good home for somebody that really does want it.”
Brown said he’s visited Augusta once before, but does appearances regularly. On Saturday, like most other appearances, he expects to see a variety of people and antiques.
“You name it, I get it,” Brown said. “I never know what I am going to get, I never know what people are going to bring.”
In addition to Brown and the children’s activities, Atkins said the Cane Creek Bluegrass Band will perform from 2-4 p.m.
“There is no seating for the festival,” Atkins said, “so if you’re going to come listen to the music or come listen to Paul, bring a blanket or bring a chair.”