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Look what I found! (5 treasures found among trash)

January 27, 2010
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A few weeks ago, a reverend at a Catholic university was looking for paper towels in a bathroom cabinet.  He didn’t find any towels, but what he did find will buy plenty extra.  He pulled out a frame with an etching in it.  He liked how it looked and put in on his wall.  Turns out, the etching is a Rembrandt and it could be worth about $100,000.  That’s not bad, but there are other valuable things found by people not looking for them.

Fix a hole in the wall DIY style

A man in Indiana stopped at a yard sale on his way home one day.  He bought a couple items of furniture and a painting he thought his wife would like.  The furniture went into the living room and the painting covered a hole in the wall.  A few years later he was playing an art-themed board game called Masterpiece.  He noticed that one of the cards featured a painting much like the one that was being used for home improvement.  He did a little extra research and discovered that the painting was an original by Martin Johnson Heade, a classical American still-life artist..

The painting was bought by a museum for $1.2 million.

Septuagenarian finds something older than she is

A 72-year-old California woman was cleaning out a section of her home when she came across an old baseball card with a team photo of the Cincinnati Red Stockings.  Not knowing what to do with it, she called a friend to help her list it on Ebay for $10.  When the friend came over to help, she convinced the woman to have it looked at by an expert.  Good move.  The expert identified it as a card from 1869 in near perfect condition.

Deciding to forego Ebay, the woman auctioned it off at Sotheby’s for over $75,000.

Forget the hammer!

A British farmer lost a hammer in one of his fields one day.  Rather than going to spend a few bucks to just buy a new one, the man borrowed a metal detector and set out to find his hammer.  Instead, he found something much more valuable.  What he unearthed was a cache of Roman Empire era artifacts.  To be exact, 15,000 coins of various metals, including gold, as well as  jewelry and statues were all uncovered.

The government bought the artifacts from him for £1.75 million which he generously split with the man who lent him the metal detector.

Car gathered dust for nearly 30 years

A few years ago, the relatives of English doctor Harold Carr were going through his things for an estate sale.  When they went to a barn on the property they came across a car that had not been used since about 1960.  Not knowing what it was, the family called in someone to identify the make and model.  It was a 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante with a mere 24,000 miles and all original parts.  Only 17 were ever made, and less are present today.

The car went at auction for just under $3 million.

Independence is worth a lot of money

In Pennsylvania, a man bought a painting at a flea market.  He liked the frame and thought he could restore it.  He took it home and attempted to do so but could not bring the frame back to it’s former glory.  Thinking he had just wasted $4, he took out the painting contained in the frame and found an old folded up piece of paper behind it.  When he unfolded it, he was looking at one of 24 known copies of the Declaration of Independence that was used to spread the news to the colonies on July 4, 1776.

An Atlanta businessman paid $2.42 million for it at auction. (That’s a 60,000,000% profit!)

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34 Comments leave one →
  1. January 28, 2010 12:38 pm

    Excellent post! really thanks! 🙂

  2. January 28, 2010 1:18 pm

    A great post…just goes to show that you never know, and because people don’t, it is so important that they take that little bit of extra time and consult an expert…



  3. tony permalink
    January 29, 2010 12:44 am

    I recently discovered a 1976 Hustler magazine when I was cleaning out the garage. Do you think the fact that many of the pages appear to be stuck together will have an adverse effect on its value to a collector?

  4. January 29, 2010 7:53 am

    My parents loved going to garage sales and second hand stores. When I was in grade school (back in the 1960’s), I learned some great lessons going to garage sales and flea markets that I stuck with me all these years. What was the top lesson? Most treasures are hidden – always look UNDER the tables.

  5. MARK permalink
    January 29, 2010 8:39 am

    Never mind under the table; most people keep the really good stuff in their home.. Just go right by them and walk in the front door, if that doesn’t work try to get around to the back door. If you are real quiet you can have the advantage of having the whole house to yourself to better aquaint and value the “inside inventory”. You can really make low ball offers since you are bidding on things that nobody else has even seen while foolishly rumaging through the trash OUTSIDE!

    If you see something you really like you may want to just out it in your pocket – sometimes people get cold feet on the “inside deals”

    • StreetView permalink
      February 17, 2016 7:56 pm

      Never mind under the tables IN their homes, look in their homes. Brilliant$!!

  6. January 29, 2010 9:53 am

    Bookmarked! I love these kinds of articles, and this is seriously everybody’s dream! I still can’t imagine finding some rare valuable that I think is junk! Maybe one day, I’ll find my hidden treasure!

  7. January 29, 2010 9:56 am

    Oh yeah and that story of the 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante; I love classic cars! Even if it wasn’t worth anything, I would still keep it because there’s just this feel that you get from vintage cars that you don’t get from cars today. Man, if only I could find one of those babies sitting in my garage!

    • I me I me I've I I've permalink
      February 17, 2016 4:57 pm

      “I” “me” “I’ve” ….
      Memememememe. .

  8. January 29, 2010 9:03 pm

    I was at a garage sale and I opened up a scrap book. It was someone’s trip to Europe. I saw a postcard commemorating the marriage of Princess Grace in Monaco. It listed the date of the wedding. I turned it over and it was postmarked in Monaco, the date of the wedding. I shut the scrap book and paid a quarter for it.

    I was at the library bookstore, and I noticed an old (1940’s style) on the books just dropped off. They had not been priced yet, and technically, they are not allowed to sell them yet. I opened it up, and it was a first edition of Andrew Loomis’ out of print Figure Drawing for All It’s Worth. I have been watching those on ebay, and any edition of that book goes for upwards of $200. I begged the librarian and said that I really-really-really wanted this book and how much did she want for it. She casually flipped through it and said, “How about a dollar?”

  9. Linuxfox00 permalink
    January 29, 2010 10:07 pm

    one time i found a big old trunk on the track it had some soggy books and papers and rusty old paint cans.
    i guess some people just bough the house and though out some stuff anyways i went though the stuff at home and i though out the cans and went though some old scrap books and i found a little bank envelope with a gold coin for the 1880s in it and sold it on ebay for 500

  10. Marsha C permalink
    January 30, 2010 7:15 am

    The best thing I ever found was at a Goodwill, where I got an antique Steiff teddy bear for $1.89. I do occasionally find good things on the curb when walking. Not worth millions, but hey, a buck is a buck. Finding something I can sell for ten, is like finding a ten dollar bill on the curb.

  11. valentinstag angebote permalink
    January 31, 2010 5:12 pm

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the great work Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  12. Richard permalink
    March 6, 2010 10:46 am

    I started going to garage sales with my Mom many years ago. I was at a garage sale in a “rough” part of Savannah, Ga where I found a collection of twenty pieces of railroad china. I bought every piece of the china for $12.00 each and sold them to a railroad china collector for between $125.00 and $175.00 each.

  13. May 30, 2010 6:04 pm

    The living room, one of the most important areas of the house. This is the first thing the family every time I saw them at home. It is also the venue for guests each time you came to visit. Therefore, it is important that the room was nice and try as much as possible. To do this, must have moving parts stay.
    The living room, a meeting place where they were entertained family and guests must be equipped to meet all of your chair. A large selection of sofas. Furniture has a living room, change, movement, it is very comfortable to sit. The site also has some individual people off their feet and treat all people comfortably.
    Except for his taking office, a lounge with a table top as well. Centre is a large table for positioning of flowers, food and beverages. The tables are perfect for holding a table lamp and telephone. coffee table is beautiful furniture items, if possible, magazines, books and a coffee table for implementation.
    With tables and chairs in place, you need entertainment. TV, stereo consoles, and all could give a little entertainment and fun, not only for the family but also for customers. You can accept all the Electronic Entertainment Centre to provide a more structured basis. Often, the furniture and shelves in some cases, are ideal for all language needs of family fun.

  14. September 15, 2010 5:21 am

    I like finding my treasure in the ground, outback, next to the outside bathroom they used to have…bottles, coins, jewerly, plus more…thanks for sharing yours.

  15. October 30, 2010 2:14 pm

    today we have table lamps that are using Light Emitting Diodes which is of course great coz they consume less power “”

  16. November 8, 2010 3:30 pm

    Awesome post – I just read about the nuns who sold the Honus Wagner baseball card. Reminded me of that.

  17. June 1, 2011 9:37 pm

    Hi! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

  18. July 29, 2011 1:13 am

    I think this is among the most important information for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But wanna remark on few general things, The web site style is great, the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers

  19. Mark McClenny permalink
    December 2, 2011 10:27 pm

    Is it legal to sell a copy of the Declaration? Wouldn’t it be considered government property?

    • sandy permalink
      August 12, 2012 8:27 am

      the government of the us is owned by we the people, right!!!

  20. January 4, 2012 11:31 pm

    One other issue is that if you are in a problem where you don’t have a co-signer then you may actually want to try to wear out all of your federal funding options. You’ll find many grants and other scholarships that will provide you with funds that can help with classes expenses. Many thanks for the post.

  21. August 23, 2012 2:41 pm

    I am forever curious about finding things out on the street, but it rarely happens. I live in England, more specifically Bristol. The government here are very tight about waste disposal. We have lots of different bins for different types of recycling. And every aspect of rubbish is always sorted out. Here they call it ‘fly-tipping’ when people dumps a load of stuff somewhere, it’s illegal. I really want to find out if there is any streets or places in Bristol where people put things on the curb just like in America, do you know of any? My only lucky find was when someone dumped a nice brown leather suitcase on my street just a few weeks before my holiday. it saved me a lot of money!… If anyone knows of any haunts in Bristol UK please tell me 🙂

  22. June 16, 2013 12:45 pm

    This is my first time pay a visit at here and i am actually happy to read all at
    single place.

  23. August 7, 2013 3:28 pm

    Preisvergleichsportale, haben in den letzten Jahren, sehr viel an Beliebtheit gewonnen und derren kostenlosen Service ( Preisvergleich )für uns Verbrauchern ist fast unverzichtbar geworden, dadurch sparen wir beim kauf eines Produkts nicht nur Geld sondern kostbare Zeit auch.

  24. Chris permalink
    February 20, 2014 10:01 am

    “and the painting covered a whole in the wall”…?

  25. July 12, 2014 7:55 pm

    I found a touching love story that lasted over 70 years and still continues on today by finding 4 love letters from Germany in a hatbox in a garage in Georgia..The truth will stand when the world burns down, was my husbands comment- and when I started searching for the writer of the letters, none of us knew what shocking revelations was in store for the whole family!
    “Somewhere in Germany” Deborah G King available Barnes and Noble and Amazon websites.

  26. Jenny permalink
    October 26, 2015 6:50 pm

    Great to read these stories,makes the hair on my neck stand up.I have been collecting since 15 years of age,the things I have found would be a great surprise to many.11 years ago I was at a land fill site or tip and wanted an old table,people were scavenging,but a table was spotted,I went to lift it up a an object moved in the draw.Out of curiosity I open it to find a pink box,a bit heavy,I turned away form crown and opened it,to my amazement there was 500 grams of gold chains,crosses,bracelets etc.I restored the table and kept my booty.Since that time I find the odd jewellery,but went into scarp metal collecting and can’t look back.Designer bags,medical equipment,clothing,antiques,furniture and thousands of brand new items,which I sell at flea markets.I now have one house full to the ceiling of anything.Also pallets of beer,which are reaching due date,but can be drank 6 months late.The World has become wasteful,but I consider the garbage archaeologists the best in their field,as it has been taught as they work.I follow a blog called ‘what I find in the garbage’,it great to read and plenty for everyone. Cheers for now.

  27. September 15, 2018 1:58 am

    My partner and i wouldn’t thoughts desigining a post as well as elaborating about most of the subjects anyone generate relating to here. Once more, great blog site!


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