Hidden Treasures You Can Cash In On
Have you ever wondered if there were treasures lurking in the corners of your attic or garage? The dust covered relics from Aunt Celeste? There is hope. Just this week the New York Times shared the story of a brother and sister who found a cache of Chinese knickknacks in a relatives attic, most of which sold for under $100. One item, a delicate blue and yellow vase, believed to be from the 18th century Qing dynasty sold for $69.5million dollars at Bainbridge, a formerly small antique house in London. Yes it turned out to be the rarest of Chinese vases, belonging to the Imperial Family. The couple had to be carried out of the auction room, almost in shock after the sale.
Its a fairy tale story, the kind that sends many of us up to search through the attic. Most of us have family treasures, shunted from one member of the family to the next, often holding less memories for us than the generation before. Yes, its unusual to find an item as rare as this vase, the highest selling piece of Chinese antiquity ever. But, who knows what gems we might be overlooking?
In my basement is a large old trunk that belonged to my father-in-law. It contains his World War II relics. A military doctor serving with a medical evacuation unit from the University of Virginia Medical School and Hospital, he was stationed in the Italian Alps during much of the war. He passed on over 10 years ago and no one else in the family seems to have given the trunk much thought; Ive only peeked into it once. To open his trunk and go through the letters and personal items it might contain seems like an invasion of privacy. He was a very private man and though he kept his letters to his fianc and who knows what else, I suspect he would not have wanted them shared with the wider world. Could I be wrong, would he have wanted to share a historical perspective of that time and age? Of the pain of war and the terrible losses he must have witnessed and tried to mend as a physician?