Incredible Treasures Discovered By Accident

Incredible Treasures Discovered By Accident

#1 The Declaration of Independence

In 1989, a collector went to a flea market in Pennsylvania. He found a painting there, however, he didn’t buy the painting because he liked it. He only wanted it for the frame. The painting was of a dark, dismal country scene. The name on the painting was illegible, therefore, he didn’t think that it was worth much. When he removed the painting from the frame, he found a copy of the Declaration of Independence underneath. He thought that it was just a replica at first, but he thought that it might be worth a few hundred dollars. After removing the frame, he realized that he didn’t want to keep that either. He said that at first sight, the frame looked gilded and ornately carved. When he got a closer look, he decided that the frame was crudely made and that it wasn’t salvageable. He did keep the declaration. After showing it to a friend and hearing their opinion, he took the paper to Sotheby’s of Manhattan. It was determined to be authentic. Of the 24 copies in existence, only 3 are in private hands This made it very valuable. In 1991, it was auctioned for $2,420,000. It is a lot of money since he only paid $4 for the painting where he found it. This is one of the most incredible treasures discovered by accident.

#2 Depression Era Currency

In 2006, a contractor named Thomas Kitts was tearing out the bathroom wall of an 83-year-old home near Lake Erie. When he ripped open the wall, he found two green lockboxes hanging from a wire. Inside the envelope were two envelopes with a return address for the P. Dunne News Agency. When he opened one of the envelopes, he found $157,000. Upon further inspection, he found another box containing $25,000. All of the money was from the Great Depression. He called the homeowner right away and she came home. He showed her the cash and they took photos with it together. She offered him 10 percent and he insisted on 40 percent. They fought and decided to take the matter to court. While the woman was in possession of the money, she claimed to have spent $14,000 and she gave her mother some of the money to sell to a coin dealer on eBay. She also claims that $60,000 of the money was stolen from her home but she never filed a report. When the story got out, the heirs of the man who put the money in the wall found out, they went to court as well. Mr. Kitts got 13.7 percent of the money, which was just a few thousand dollars.The woman had already spent what wasn’t hers so she got nothing. The rest went to the heirs. Had the Kitts and the woman not have been greedy, the heirs would never have found out about the money and they could have split it.

#3 A Jackson Pollock Painting

In 1992, a woman named Teri Horton went to a thrift shop in San Bernardino, California looking for a gift for her friend’s birthday. She found a painting that she liked and the store clerk offered it to her for $8. The woman managed to talk her down to $5 and she got the painting. She gave the painting to her friend but when it wouldn’t fit through the door, she gave it back to Teri. Teri didn’t want it so she tried to sell it at a yard sale. An art teacher came by and saw the painting and told Teri that it was likely a Jackson Pollock. When the teacher told her that the painting could be worth at least $50 million, she got excited. The teacher also told her that the art world would never certify it so she decided to have it fingerprinted. They found fingerprints on the back of the painting that belonged to Pollock, but that wasn’t enough to convince them. One art collector offered her $2 million for the painting. Teri said that it wasn’t a fair price and she declined. Teri is in her 80’s today and she says she won’t sell the painting for any less than $50 million. She likely won’t ever get that amount of money. It is likely that painting will eventually become part of her estate when she dies. Many people believe that she should have taken the $2 million when she could have enjoyed it.

#4 Magnolias on Gold Velvet Cloth

In 1999, a man was playing the board game, Masterpiece. He saw a painting that looked just like a painting that he was using to cover a hole in his wall. He wanted to know if his painting was authentic and valuable so he sent an email to Kennedy Galleries in Manhattan along with a photo of the painting. The gallery authenticated the painting. They said that it was painted in the 19th century by Martin Johnson Heade. When word got out in the art world about the man’s find, art museums all over the world were contacting him offering to buy the painting. He ended up selling the painting to The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston for $1.25 million. After the sale, the man had to find a new painting to cover the hole in the wall. Unfortunately, the new painting that he hung was worthless. Hopefully, he eventually used the $1.25 million to repair the hole in the wall.