Self Storage Blog

  • 27th January 2012
  • News

Hidden Treasures: What could you find hidden in your Attic?

Attics are the home of Christmas decorations and unused sports equipment from that failed New Year resolution. Often we throw things in our attic to give us a bit more room around the house, leaving us to think what is actually up there?

People have uncovered many unique treasures by rummaging through their own belongings and in some special cases those items have been worth millions of pounds. Perhaps it’s time to dedicate an afternoon to clearing out the cobwebs and sorting through your things from years ago.

We’ve been hunting around and were amazed at what people uncovered in their attics:

1. Martin Johnson Heade Paintings – While the name may sound unfamiliar, it’s not one that should be forgotten after being heard. Heade is America’s Van Gogh, with his paintings being unknown during his time (1900’s), his flower portraits are luminous and emotional. His painting ‘ Magnolias on Gold Velvet Cloth’ was stored away in an attic until the owner played an art related board game and became curious of the paintings creator. The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas purchased the work from the owner for a staggering $1, 250, 000 in 1999. The painting has been replicated more times than we can count on posters, calendars, and mugs. Several other Heade paintings were discovered the same way and sold for hundreds of thousands of pounds at auction.

2. First Edition Star Wars Collectibles –An American went up to his attic only to discover several boxes from his childhood he had long forgotten about. They were filled with toys he had kept in mint condition, including several first edition star wars collectibles dating from 1977, the year the first Star Wars film was released. He took the toys to a comic book store and sold them for $10,000.

3. Rare Coins – If you have coins your grandparents used to collect, you may have some valuable ones hidden in their stash. George Walton collected rare coins until the day he died, leaving his treasures to his family. Among them was a nickel printed in 1913 with a liberty head. Only five coins were printed with this date and design, making them extremely rare and valuable to historical collectors. Several specialists viewed the coin and declared it to be a fake. It sat in the family’s attic until many years after Walton’s death, when his nephew took the coin to an exhibit where 4 of the 5 coins were on display. There, specialists looked closely and declared Walton’s coin to be the fifth and final coin, making it worth $2,000,000.

4. False Teeth – You may find the strangest things in forgotten boxes in your attic. One family found boxes of false teeth that once belonged to their ancestor who had been a dentist. He had bought false teeth in assorted sizes to best fit the patient’s mouth. The family took the old metal teeth to a jeweler who told them the teeth were made up entirely of platinum. While cheap back in the day, platinum had soared in price thanks to the jewelry market. The teeth were worth around $300 a pair and brought in nearly $8000.
5. Buried Jewelry – Your grandmother’s costume jewelry may not be costume after all. Many people have uncovered real gold and silver pieces stashed in trinket boxes. One mother discovered her daughter was playing with a gem once owned by royalty. It looked like simple piece of costume jewelry but when appraised was worth hundreds of pounds.

You never know what you will uncover in your attic. If you have some emotional attachment to your treasures and want to ensure their safety, it may be best to have them appraised and insured. For as little as £7 a week Big Yellow Self Storage can safely store your valuables, clearing up your attic for several more years of treasures to collect!