What would you do if you happened to find hidden treasure on your property? These lucky folks might be able to give you some ideas. From home renovation projects to clearing out estates of the deceased, these people have found everything from rare comics to original works of art to cold hard cash. With so many interesting finds, it makes you wonder what else could be out there, possibly hiding in plain sight.
Old Hollywood Film Posters Found In Floorboards
Blair Pitre was renovating a home he’d just moved into in Alberta, Canada, when he happened to find Old Hollywood relics hidden in the roof and floorboard of the home. Pitre found about 40 vintage film posters that date back to the ’20s and ’30s.
His house was built in 1912 and reports indicate that the home’s previous owner also owned the local movie house. The original posters feature the likes of Greta Garbo, Gary Cooper, and Buster Keaton, to name a few. The posters were auctioned off and earned Pitre around $50,000. He used the proceeds to complete his home renovations.
A Frenchman Inherited A Lot More Than A House
A Frenchman in Normandy inherited more than just a house from his deceased relative. Hidden away under furniture, old piles of linen, and even inside the bathroom was over 200 pounds in gold.
Auctioneer Nicolas Fierfort told AFP in 2016, “There were 5,000 gold pieces, two bars of 12 kilos and 37 ingots of 1 kilo.” The man himself had failed to find all this gold before he sold the house to a new owner, who was the one to discover the treasure. All of the gold was bought in the ’50s and ’60s and was estimated to be worth around $3.7 million.
A Long-Lost Paul McCartney Record Reemerged
British pop star Cilla Black had a top-ten hit in 1964 called “It’s for You,” which was specially written for her by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. McCartney was known to have recorded a version on acetate and sent it to Black, but since then the record has forever been lost.
After Black passed in 2015, her relatives were cleaning up her house when they happened upon an envelope with “It’s For You” written on it. Assuming it was a recording of her hit record, they were surprised when it was actually McCartney singing. The recording was auctioned at $22,306.
A Man Found Money To Pay Off His House Within Its Walls
A 35-year-old man found roughly $45,000 hidden in his basement. The master DIY-er recounted his findings on Imgur, sharing that the money was found in two little boxes that were hidden in the ceiling of the basement.
The man’s home was built in the ’40s and he’d already renovated the top two floors before getting to the basement. Along with the money was a Cleveland newspaper dating back to the ’50s. The bills were pretty old, but worth more in the present day. After a lawyer confirmed that the findings were rightfully theirs, the man and his family used the money to pay off their mortgage.
Cartoonist’s Sons Find An Original Norman Rockwell In The Walls
"Henry" cartoonist Don Trachte passed away in 2005. The following year, his sons Don Jr. and Dave were cleaning up and inspecting their father’s home when they noticed a strange gap in the wood-paneled wall. They pried open the gap to reveal an original Norman Rockwell painting.
Trachte and Rockwell were actually good friends and neighbors, which is why Trachte was in possession of an original copy of "Breaking Home Ties." The sons speculated that he painted a copy of the painting for display and hid the original behind the wall to prevent his ex-wife from taking it in their divorce. It later sold for $15.4 million at a Sotheby’s auction.
A Man Found Batman And Superman In His Great-Uncle’s Closet
Michael Rorrer was tasked with cleaning out his great-aunt’s house in Virginia after her passing in 2015. Deep within a basement closet was a neat stack of old comic books that belonged to his great-uncle.
It wasn’t until later that a co-worker mentioned how cool it’d be if the stack included the debut of Superman. Rorrer looked back at the collection and found that it did have Superman’s debut in Action Comics No. 1, as well as Batman’s debut in Detective Comics No. 27. his great-uncle had acquired them as a child in the late ’30s and ’40s. The bulk of the collection sold for about $3.5 million in 2016.
A French Couple Found Gold In Their Garden
A couple in Roanne, France bought a house and garden in 2002. While working in the garden, they happened to strike gold. In 2009, they found six gold bars and they found 22 more in 2013. Though they alerted the police of their findings, they quietly sold the bars and pocketed the money.
This caused the bank to start an investigation, news of which prompted the original owners of the house to sue. The gold was worth over $900,000, but unfortunately, the couple lost the case. They were ordered to return the remaining gold bars to the original owners and reimburse them for what was sold.
Unknown Van Gogh Painting Discovered In A Rich Man’s Attic
In 2013, Vincent Van Gogh’s legacy was revived when a previously unknown painting was confirmed to be one of his originals. The landscape titled “Sunset at Montmajour” was described in great detail by Van Gogh in a letter to his brother, but it never saw the light of day for over a century.
Norwegian industrialist Christian Nicolai Mustad bought the painting in 1908, but when he was told it was probably fake, he banished it to his attic. In the 21st century, Mustad’s descendants found the painting in the attic and researchers at the Van Gogh Museum confirmed its authenticity. It was valued at $50 million.
A Man Found A Titanic Relic In His Mother’s Attic
In 2006, the son of an amateur musician was cleaning her house after her death. He happened to find a violin that was passively given to his mother by her violin teacher, but it turned out that the violin belonged to bandmaster Wallace Hartley, who famously played “Nearer, My God, To Thee” as the Titanic was sinking.
The violin was verified to be authentic and is believed to be the exact violin that Hartley was playing in his last moments. Though it was rendered unplayable due to saltwater damage, the violin was auctioned off at more than $1.7 million in 2013.
A Jar Of U.S. Gold Coins Was Found In London
Residents of Hackney in east London were digging a hole on their property to build a frog pond. Three weeks into the project they dug up a jar filled with 80 gold coins, which turned out to be U.S. Double-Eagle gold coins valued at $20 a piece.
The coins belonged to Martin Sulzbacher, a German banker whose family went to London during WWII. Martin’s brother buried the coins on their property just before they were killed by a explosion. When the jar was found in 2007, they found Martin’s son Max, who sold the coins in an auction for over $100,000.
Man Finds Rare Vintage Baseball Cards In Grandpa’s Attic
In 2012, 51-year-old Karl Kissner was rummaging his grandfather’s attic in Defiance, Ohio when he chanced upon a jackpot find for an avid baseball find. Kissner found almost 700 vintage baseball cards in near-mint condition, including cards for legends such as Cy Young and Ty Cobb.
Included in the find were cards part of a 30-payer set that came with caramel candy back in 1910. The cards were auctioned off in small groups over time. The first group of cards, which contained 37 of the best cards, sold for over $500,000 in 2012.
An Uncle Gave His Relatives More Than Just A Garage
In 2009, relatives of orthopedic surgeon Dr. Harold Carr inherited the contents of his locked up garage in Newcastle, England. They were surprised to learn that that inheritance included a rare 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante – only 17 of which were made.
The Bugatti sat in the garage unused since 1960 and despite the wear of time, was pretty much in tact with all of its original equipment. The car previously belonged to famed race car driver Earl Howe, but Carr purchased it in 1955 for $1,143 (almost $30k today.) Carr’s relatives auctioned the car for an incredible $3.8 million.
A Leaky Roof Led This Family To An Original Caravaggio
A family in Toulouse, in the southwest of France, had a leaky roof. The repairs brought them into their attic, where they found a long-lost painting that they believed to be an original Caravaggio. The well-preserved painting was a depiction of Judith Beheading Holofernes, thought to be painted by the famed Baroque master in the 1600’s.
When the family brought the painting to the attention of historians, there was debate over the painting’s authenticity. Art expert Eric Turquin argued that the truth may never be established. Regardless, the painting went on display and is thought to be worth almost $141 million if it is real.
A Contractor Found Superman In The Walls
In his decade of contracting work, David Gonzales has never found anything in the walls that he demolished. That is, until 2013, when a home he was remodeling in Elbow Lake, Minnesota revealed a rare 1938 copy of Action Comics #1.
The comic was found with old newspaper in the walls and was used for insulation. It was lucky that Gonzalez was able to outbid a neighboring restaurant for the house, who wanted to turn the property into a parking lot. The value of the rare comic far exceeded the house, selling at an auction for $175,000.