Antiquers Ralph and Terry Kovel

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on January 5, 2003

I love the interaction between Ralph and Terry Kovel on HGTV's Flea Market Finds. Can you tell me more about them and how they got started in the antique business?
—Sharon D., North Carolina

It all began when the couple were furnishing their first apartment on a budget and picked up some porcelain at various house sales and flea markets. Curious about the markings on the bottom of their pieces, they started doing some research and found most of the reference books geared toward people who were already experts. Finding those books of little use, Ralph Kovel began his own list of marks and their makers. Eventually, the list grew into a book, Kovel's Dictionary of Marks—Pottery & Porcelain, published in 1953. Their hobby had bloomed into both a passion and a business, and soon the Kovels were writing a newspaper column advising other fledgling antique-seekers. In addition to their weekly newspaper column, they've written more than 75 books, have a regular column in House Beautiful magazine, and put out their own subscription-only newsletter. Before joining Flea Market Finds, they had shows offering advice and information about antiques on PBS and the Discovery Channel.