Those items aren’t junk, they’re antiques!

If you’ve ever watched PBS’s long-running Antiques Roadshow series, you know that some people have precious treasure hidden in plain sight. It is amazing to see the priceless items that people have hidden in their attics, basements and even on their walls; everything is a treasure waiting for the right person to arrive. These are some of the most valuable and strange finds of all.

Comic relief

In 2013, David González purchased a dilapidated home in Elbow Lake, Minnesota. González, a trade contractor, immediately set out to gut the interior walls of the repair shop. When his mallet pierced the drywall, he noticed that it was full of insulation paper, a common practice in the 1930s. A comic book caught Gonzalez’s eye amid the shreds of newspaper. Turns out it was Action Comics No. 1, the first appearance of Superman, the holy grail of comics. A nearly mint-condition copy of the comic sold at auction for more than $ 2 million. The copy González found was nowhere near mint, the last pages were missing, and it was badly damaged. It still sold for $ 175,000 at auction. Considering he paid $ 10,000 for the house, it’s safe to say he was okay with that.

Figurine of seven figures

George Davis was a longtime employee of Hammer Galleries in Manhattan, and over the years bought a handful of antiques. When he passed away in late 2013, family members found a small, unadorned box in the attic of his upstate home. The box contained a small figure that turned out to be worth a fortune. The doll was a Fabergé figure of a Russian imperial commander from before WWI. The adornment of the uniform was made of real gold, and the medals and insignia were set with precious stones. It was originally commissioned by Tsar Nicholas II for his wife in 1912, purchased by an American industrialist, and then finally by Mr. Davis in 1934 for $ 2,250. It was valued at nearly $ 800,000, but sold for more than $ 5 million in an auction.

They are watching you boy

In 2015, Randy and Linda Guajiro were looking at some antiques in a store in Fresno, California, when they came across a box of old photographs. They looked through them and, though nothing caught their eye, a voice in Randy’s head told him to hold onto the dark typeface photo of the young man holding a croquet mallet. Los Guajiros paid $ 2 for three photos in total, including the one from tintype. Randy eventually took it to an American antiquities expert in the San Francisco Bay area, who helped reconstruct the identities of the men in the photo. It is the only known photograph of Billy the Kid with his gang, the Regulators, making it an invaluable piece of American history. The only other photo of the legendary outlaw sold at auction for $ 2.6 million. The value of this photo is set at $ 5 million because it shows the Kid with his gang, notorious Wild West legends in their own right.

Next time you go through some junk in the attic, take a second look at it. You never know what you will find.

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