An older white woman holds a teacup and judges everyone around her in 'The Gilded Age.'

‘The Gilded Age’ Doesn’t Want Your Grandma’s Old Junk

Your heirs didn't loom so big.

The Gilded Age is now in its second season, meaning the large fan base continues to grow. On the official Gilded Age podcast, the show’s production designer talks about a hilarious fan reaction to the series.

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Every week, after a new episode of The Gilded Age premiers, so does a new episode of the official companion podcast. The hosts, Turner Classic Movies’ Alicia Malone and New York historian Tom Meyers, delve into the intricacies of each episode. They cover everything from plot twists to scenery details. For coverage on the second episode of the new season, director Deborah Kampmeier and production designer Bob Shaw joined the podcast.

The conversation turned to the process of sourcing props and other items for the show. Shaw explained how they have to find period-accurate items, even down to the wallpaper. Malone asked if finding things is easy during the second season, since people already know about the show and the time period it takes place in. Shaw said fans love to send stuff in or bring items to their attention, but the family heirlooms are rarely from the correct era. Shaw explained, “People are saying, ‘Oh I have a thing that belonged to my grandmother. You might want it for The Gilded Age.’ And more often than not it’s like, well this is a very nice piece but it’s from the 20s.”

Often, people assume if something was owned by their grandparents, it must be ancient and possibly valuable. “To most people, old is old,” Shaw said. Anyone who has watched an episode of Antiques Roadshow knows this phenomenon well. Most people won’t necessarily know the difference between items from the early Art Nouveau of the Gilded Age versus the revival of the style in the 1920s and 1930s. However, you can keep in mind that the Gilded Age took place in the late 1800s, and season 2 is happening during 1884. Items from this time would be close to 140 years old, so they wouldn’t be things just lying around your grandma’s house. Like Antiques Roadshow, Shaw finds himself saying, “This is a very lovely piece you can treasure, but it’s worth nothing.”

(featured image: Max)

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D.R. Medlen
D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a pop culture staff writer at The Mary Sue. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer in 2019. She expertly fangirls over Marvel, Star Wars, and historical fantasy novels (the spicier the better). When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse, offspring, and animal familiars.