Leigh and Leslie Keno

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President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush stand with 2005 National Humanities Medal recipient Leslie Keno on November 10, 2005 in the Oval Office.

Leigh Ronald Keno and Leslie Bernard Keno (born March 14, 1957) are American antiquarians, authors, and television hosts.[1][2]

The Kenos specialize in stoneware, early American furniture and vintage automobiles. They are widely known as appraisers on the PBS series Antiques Roadshow, for favoring preservation of antiques over restoration, and for their engaging, high-energy personalities. [3]

Background[edit]

The Kenos were born identical twin sons to Norma and Ronald Keno who were both themselves antiques dealers in Herkimer County, New York,[4] and grew up in Mohawk, New York. Leigh was born 13 minutes before his brother.[5] Their father collected and restored vintage sports cars, and both their parents specialized in folk art and country furniture.[6] Their mother would take them out of school on Fridays to regional flea markets and antiques shows.[7] The brothers took interest, were earning $200 or $300 a weekend by the time they were in the fourth grade, and by age twelve had entered in their joint diary "We are Antique Dealers."[6][7] While also enjoying more typical boyhood pursuits (football, fly-fishing, playing in a rock band) the twins took a special interest in stoneware.[7] At age fourteen they set the world record for American stoneware, paying $3,500 for an American salt-glazed stoneware jug.[6]

Leigh attended Hamilton College, and Leslie attended Williams College, graduating cum laude in 1979.[4]

Leslie Keno, at the time a senior vice president and the director of American furniture and decorative arts at Sotheby's, married Emily Becnel, an administrator in the English furniture department at Sotheby's in New York in 1995, with whom he has two children, Ashley and Schuyler.[4] Leigh, who had been an appraiser at Christie's, operated an antiques store in New York.[7] He owns a 1938 SS 100 Jaguar 3.5-liter, purchased from his father,[8] which he has driven on the track at Lime Rock Park which he and his brother drove on Louis Vuitton Classic China Run,a thousand mile drive from Dalian to Beijing.[8] Leigh serves as judge at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. He also has a son, Brandon.[9]

The twins' older brother, Mitchell Keno, is an antiques appraiser.[citation needed]

Careers[edit]

The brothers have appeared as furniture appraisers on the PBS series Antiques Roadshow since 1997, have hosted the WGBH series Find! together starting in 2003,[10] and have been hosts of the internet show Collect This! with the Keno Brothers on MSN's Tech & Gadgets guide site since 2008.

In 2000, the twins co-authored a book on antique furniture with Joan Barzilay Freund, Hidden Treasures: Searching for Masterpieces of American Furniture. Leigh opened his own antique dealership in New York City in 1986 and Leslie heads the American furniture and decorative arts division at Sotheby's. Both were awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2005.

In 2008, the brothers joined then-First Lady Laura Bush on a History Channel televised tour of the White House.[11][12]

In 2009 Leigh launched Keno Auctions[1] a full service auction house.

In 2010 they created a furniture line called Keno Bros.[13] that is manufactured by Theodore Alexander.

In 2011, the brothers co-hosted a reality show, Buried Treasure, on the Fox network.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ PBS Antiques Road Show (21 September 2012). "Appraisers: Leslie Keno". WGBH. Retrieved 14 October 2012. 
  2. ^ PBS Antiques Road Show (21 September 2012). "Appraisers:Leigh Keno". WGBH. Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  3. ^ Dana Stevens (10 December 2003). "Antiques Gone Wild". Slate. Retrieved 14 October 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c "Emily Becnel and Leslie Keno". The New York Times, Weddings. August 20, 1995. 
  5. ^ Rita Reif (1 March 1985). "Auctions". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 October 1985. 
  6. ^ a b c Wendy Moonan (December 8, 2000). "Twin Brothers With One Pursuit: Old Treasures". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 October 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c d Mitchell Owens (September 4, 1997). "Antiques Stars Return to the Scene Of First Loves". The New York Times. Retrieved September 4, 1997. 
  8. ^ a b Jim Motavalli (September 25, 2008). "Leigh Keno and His Jaguar SS". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 October 2008. 
  9. ^ Bruce Frankel (November 27, 2000). "Two for the Roadshow". People. Retrieved 14 October 2012. 
  10. ^ Roy Schecter (2004-06-01). "What a Find!". Hamilton College Alumni Review, Spring-Summer 2004. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  11. ^ Frazier Moore (November 25, 2008). "Laura Bush is the White House's resident expert". International Business Times. Retrieved January 22, 2009. [dead link]
  12. ^ The History Channel (November 25, 2008). "The White House: Behind Closed Doors". History.com. Retrieved January 22, 2009. [dead link]
  13. ^ "Acclaimed Furniture Experts Set to Launch First Collection". Theodore Alexander Press Release. 2010-03-01. 
  14. ^ Fox Broadcasting Company. "Buried Treasure". 

External links[edit]