On Monday's new episode of Antiques Roadshow, an unnamed man brought a prop from one of the most iconic blockbuster movies of all time, Raiders of the Lost Ark. The prop in question is the actual Ark of the Covenant itself, the Biblical artifact that Harrison Ford's Indiana Jones chases after the entire movie. It turns out, the man that brought the Ark into Antiques Roadshow is the son of an Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) employee who worked on 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."
The prop was looked at by Antiques Roadshow appraiser James Supp, who explained that there was quite a lot of value to be found in this replica of the Ark. The hastily pieced-together design that you see up close proves that this is indeed a movie prop, not just some well-built replica, and it's valued at more than $100,000. In the right situation, it could be sold for as much as $250,000.
"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."
"Not bad for hot glue and spray paint," the owner joked.
Raiders of the Lost Ark was released in theaters in 1981 and it was the first time Harrison Ford appeared as Indiana Jones. The star returned for three more films and is set to reprise his role for a fifth and final time in the next couple of years.