What's the best treasure?

kensblondieApril 1, 2004

What is the best treasure you have found at the curb, garage sale, estate sell or other?

My best find was a belt buckle with 3 diamonds in it. It was a service award from a local manufacturing firm. I paid $3.00 for it.

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Recently I was at a local TS and I always look at the costume jewelry. I noticed this ring that had a large oval green stone in it. I bought it for 49 cents and brought it home to clean it up. The ring itself was tarnished black. When I got thru cleaning it, I had a solid sterling and turquoise ring.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2004 at 8:00AM
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Boy that is a real tough one! I just love the wicker chair I found at the curb which now graces my front porch. I also went nuts over the child's solid oak 3 drawer desk and chair I got for my stepdaughter which is a miniature size of an oak library desk (also from the curb). Then today I picked up a 2 piece oak and iron bistro set that only had some paint chipped on the back. This too came from the curb and will go out on my porch when the weather warms up (I think). Do I live in a great neighborhood or what? With finds like this who needs the thrift shops!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2004 at 8:55AM
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Last year I purchased a framed watercolor by Joseph Bohler for $4.00. I contacted him to make sure it was authentic and he wrote me back a nice letter noting the value of this early piece was between $400. and $600.

I'd never heard of Joseph Bohler before (he is a famous western artist), but was glad I didn't pass up that bargain!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2004 at 6:13PM
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hi,although not found in the trash best value has been my daughter .after insurance first bill about 900$ .about 3,000 a yr. x 6yrs, savings in not going out for 6 yrs. 1,ooo,s a yr.she,s better comedy than a comedian and cheaper, cartoon network is 35 a mo.movies are 8.00 $ ,eats cheap and makes you smile ,priceless.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2004 at 12:43AM
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Years ago, hubby installed radio phones in cars..
He had to remove the seat in a rolls to install the
wires. He found this strange lion pin and brought it
home since I collect lions..well, it had a red eye
and a bunch of diamond looking stones...it was 14kt
so one day I took it to a jeweler...it's an award pin
for Jewish women that donate money..the red stone is a
ruby, and the diamond looking stones are diamonds and
it appraised at $1,500! I'd sell it in a heartbeat if I
could find a buyer ...not junk but you never know what
you'll find under a seat or cushion...
bet some of you start looking now huh :)

    Bookmark   April 7, 2004 at 8:01PM
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: ) definately my husband- who was literally sitting on the curb, dumped there by a girl who didn't have a clue what she was throwing away.

needed to take him home and brush the tangles out of his super-curly hair- but 6 years later, he continues to appreciate in value :)

the coolest THINGS?

the Arts-and-Crafts iron table that I saved from certain doom (the trashmen were at one end of the pile, I was at the other end. I talked them and the owner into letting me stash it next to her driveway while I rode back and fetched my car)

and my 1976 chevy Vega, which I found with a cracked engine block. cost me $200 (and a few hours patching cancer spots on the mechanic's jeep) to get it back on the road and that thing survived through half of highschool, and three years of college :)

    Bookmark   April 9, 2004 at 9:20AM
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Wow, y'all have found some really cool stuff!

This is my first visit to this forum, and I'm liking it. I'll definitely come back.

My best--most valuable--finds were 1) a 14k 2.1 oz Italian bracelet for $15 at a thrift store and 2) a copper art deco nude figurine lamp at a junk store. It's Nefertari on her knees with an Egyptian motif around the base and the lighting fixture coming out of her headdress. Way cool find for $3!


    Bookmark   April 9, 2004 at 6:24PM
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I found a beautiful antique mirror--a high back wooden rocker--antique doll--wrought iron patio set--just a few

    Bookmark   April 10, 2004 at 9:46PM
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i bought a pair of really dirty american indian style earrings at a flea market for $3- cleaned them up, they're signed sterling and coral pawn jewelry! also bought a silver open heart- when cleaned up, the tiffany and elsa perreti signatures showed up quite well! but just like chinacat sunflower, my second-hand free husband was the real treasure! the first "owner" only used him for 7 years, but i've gotten 28 out of him, so far!!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2004 at 9:54PM
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wilted flower:

Did the owner of the Rolls know that your husband took the pin? Even if the item was lost or misplaced under the seat, it was still the property of the car's owner.

If you cleaned houses, would keep any money or valuable items you found under a piece of furniture? The situation with the pin under the car seat is no different.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2004 at 9:25AM
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Too many great ones to list and the best is still to come!!!! I love Junking and TS ing and YS ing and absolutely 'know' that there is yet something to be the best.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2004 at 12:09PM
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my best find was a solid mahogany 2 tier "serving table" with claw feet. Found at a junk store. This thing was black and all crackled you couldnt tell what it really looked like. Bought it for 35 dollars and brought it home and cleaned it up and it beautifull. I have seen some like it in a antique store for 200 plus dollars but I will never get rid of it....

    Bookmark   April 12, 2004 at 6:23PM
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I bought a squash blossom necklace with about 14 "thumbnail" sized pieces of turquoise . It was handmade by a guy who used to travel around to different states and sell his jewelery. He had passed away and she was getting rid of all of the remaining stock. All necklaces were 1.00.

And I bought a Lucian Piccard (SP) watch with diamond looking stones on the 12-3-6 and 9....I've never had it checked out to see if they are real. But I did bring the brand name up on the computer and the cheapest one was over 200.00. And everything that is not real gold or gold plated doesn't last long for me. turns green...And I've worn this watch for three years now. it was 50 cents

I get a lot of good buys at the auction I go to on Saturdays.


    Bookmark   April 16, 2004 at 5:26PM
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Ooh, hard to choose! My six foot mahogany dining table that I got for three bucks - and he delivered it! A huge Toulouse Lautrec poster that I paid eight dollars for and found out it was an original lithograph. My wedding dress - a 1950's cocktail confection for two dollars. The walnut desk from my neighbor (free) that used to grace the barber shop in the house of congress!

Now for the bloopers - all the things we thought would be perfect and ended up on our own curbs??
Cheers! Amy

    Bookmark   April 19, 2004 at 3:18PM
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I am new to finding trash to treasures, but I can never pass up a flea market. I found some beautiful Trifari jewelry that sold for just pennies a piece.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2004 at 9:05PM
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four pieces of silver jewelry. Indian style, Kokopeli earrings and drop (no chain) and link type bracelet at the same garage sale for $ 1 each. fourth is a slave type bracelet for 50 cents at another garage sale. All were dark and tarnished but really cleaned up.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2004 at 12:34AM
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Definately my Hekman half round console table with inlaid mahogany and birdseye maple--found on the curb coated with a bad layer of gold and plack paint, or my other half round buffet/console table by Drexel for $18.50 at auction, or the Ethan Allen upholstered chair also found on the curb, or the pottery barn velvet duvet cover (with queen down duvet still inside) with 2 sets of matching pillow forms found at the curb too (in a puddle beside the 'real trash').

The area I live in is insanely wasteful, the average house here goes for $500,000. I am on the constant search to look in garbage for these people's money trees! I know I will find it someday!! Until then, I will just thank them silently for their throw aways.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2004 at 1:16PM
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I was in a large chain pet store, shopping for gifts for our cats (yes, I know....over the top) when a man asked me if I would like to have his dog. I said "no", the dog (a cocker spaniel) whimpered and put his head on my hand and then I heard myself saying "yes". My first thought was that he was stolen, so I contacted every humane society within 100 miles, took him to the vets to check for tatoos and micro chips, finally found his old vets number on a collar tag and found out that he was, indeed, the man's dog. This dog has been the most wonderful part of our retirement years and we love him dearly. Still cannot figure out why anybody would discard him.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2004 at 1:47PM
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Your story reminds me of our best find ever: my h and I were driving through the middle of nowhere a couple of years ago and saw a puppy on the side of the road. My h immediately stopped the car; the puppy was afraid but the dog food I had in my hand (we had a full bag in the back of the car, coincidentally) outweighed his fear. I'll spare you all the details, but he was in BAD shape. We didn't have to wonder if he belonged to anyone bec no responsible person would have allowed an animal to suffer like that. He was covered with so many engorged ticks that we lost count how many we pulled at home that night. It was horrible. We didn't know if he would survive but, with care and the help of our wonderful vet and vet staff, he pulled through. The dog we have now is very happy boy who is incredibly smart, devoted and loving; he was definitely our greatest find, and one even my h--who laughs at my curb-shopping--could appreciate.

Sometimes the best treasures are found in the most unlikely places even when we aren't looking.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2004 at 11:38PM
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This is my first time checking out this forum (I'm usually checking out the rose forum), and I also have a "best treasure" pet story. Actually, 2 of them.

The first is my red tabby cat Ginger Louise, who found me on the street in Brooklyn where I lived for a number of years. She would come to the building and follow me down the street sometimes, it seemed like she was trying to bark to get my attention! Sometimes I would sit outside on the stoop and she would come sit on my lap and purr while I pet her. Turns out somebody in my building was feeding her, that's why she was hanging around. But, when I saw a mouse in my kitchen one cold February night, I decided I would try to take her in. I tempted her with a can of tuna outside the building, and picker her and the can up to carry her up the four flights to my apartment. She didn't even notice where she was till she finished the can! That night I woke up feeling a weight on my stomach. I opened my eyes and saw the silhouette of the little kitty head...she was sleeping on my stomach! So sweet. She has been the FIRST best found treasure of my life.

Then, about 1 1/2 years later I was on vacation with my then-boyfriend-now DH, and we came out to our car in the parking lot in the evening...out from under the car appeared a little kitty who greeted us with the sweetest "MEEEEOW" and jumped into the car when we opened the door! We fell in love with him immediately...drove around to see if anybody owned him or had lost him...it appeared he had been abandoned. So, we snuck him into our hotel room, had him checked out my the vet (all OK), and brought him home to keep Ginger Louise company. His name is Willie...and he's worth his weight in entertainment value. He's truly nutty and funny, follows us around like a puppy, and loves to play fetch with those twisty things off the milk cartons.

Besides my furbabies, I found a Lane walnut coffee table on the curb in Manhattan years ago, it's still with me. It's the simple modern style, about 6 feet long...boy was that heavy! I also found a rocking chair on the curb in Brooklyn, black with the gold stencilling Pennsylvania Dutch style on the headboard...it's got a few dings but it's VERY comfortable and FREE! Yippee!

My DH goes nuts when he sees me looking at trash piles...I have to hide stuff nowadays and make sure my treasures are SMALL and HIDEABLE!!!


    Bookmark   April 27, 2004 at 1:54AM
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I was "junking' and trying to beat the metal dealers becaue they also pick up anything pretty. Went down a small street and saw metal. Got out of the car and walked over and there was a box with old toys in it. Took it to auction and the stuff brought $250.
Most useful things - a queen size bed frame - metal and fancy and absolutely free. Also a power washer sat out with the trash - it works fine! Our town should have their "junking" soon - once every 3 years here. Can't wait! Kathy

    Bookmark   May 20, 2004 at 7:53PM
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I found a small ceramic vault at a TS once. No, not a bank vault. A cemetary vault. The ones they bury the caskets in. I believe it was a sample that salesmen give to customers. It's white, about 3 1/2 inches high, 3 1/4 inches wide and 9 1/2 inches long. The top is domed and has the manufacturers name (Christy Vault) in blue at each end. It was only $3. I filled it with M&M's when my Halloween friends came over.

My neighbor gave me a fire brick from a local crematorium that was torn down.

I'm not quite as morbid as this makes me sound.

I'm not. Honest. Cross my heart and hope to...Well, really I'm not.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vault pics

    Bookmark   June 17, 2004 at 2:20AM
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Wilted Flower - Sorry- but I'm amazed that only one other reader thought there was something WRONG WITH STEALING from someone else's car. I have a silver dollar somewhere in my car and I don't think it should belong to a worker if they found it first. Where would you draw the line, to steal from a car, a purse, or a home? Find the true owner, confess, and return the piece. Both good and bad deeds are repaid ten-fold.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2004 at 7:14PM
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I just found about a $600.00 set of wicker in the dumpster

    Bookmark   July 2, 2004 at 10:41PM
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My Nissan Altima GLE, worth about $21,000, which I got for $9000. It had only 3600 miles on it. It had been stolen, the front seat ripped out, then found again and that caused it to have a "Salvage" title. Three years later, it is still running perfectly and the replaced seat looks fine.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2004 at 2:25AM
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Well, it became a treasure to someone else. Someone "found" the patio furniture that "was just sitting out" on my front porch.

No sentimental value like a jeweled lion pin, and nowhere near the monetary value. But like wilted_flower, they probably just figured since I could afford something nicer than they had, I wouldn't mind if they had it.

Ah well, at least they didn't brag about it in public...

    Bookmark   July 5, 2004 at 12:25PM
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i am astounded that somebody would KEEP something stolen from a car seat! the pin was given to somebody who had donated money to a cause, probablly religious. fate WILL come back and bite the people who profit from theft. we have been given a set of laws to obey and they are called commandments not" really good suggestions" or "handy household hints" the honest thing to do would have been to take it to the owner.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2004 at 1:57PM
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I guess some people's definitions of "found items" are different than others. The scum who stole from my Mother's grave a statue that I had placed there must be one of the people with the twisted perception of a "found item". Good thing the head stone is cemented in, they might have taken that too! What a shock to find it gone when I went to Mother's grave on her Birthday. I will never replace it, the thought that someone stole from us is not something that I want to go through again. Stealing is stealing, be it from a car, a porch or a grave. I agree with the earlier post, it will come back in one way or another on the thief. Funny how a thief can look themselves in the mirror every day....

    Bookmark   July 8, 2004 at 5:57PM
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Our best treasure is a vintage accordion amplifier. DH is an avid guitar player and spied the Gibson amp at an auction. He was willing to pay up to $250 for it but I guess no one else was interested - wound up getting it for $35. After we got it home we checked ebay - seems these are highly sought after and are going for anywhere from $750 - $900!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2004 at 12:58PM
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I've just found this thread. My best treasures from yard sales fall into 2 categories.

- one is decorative things that completely matched the bill of what I was looking for, and had been unable to find at any price. I have a den that has an African/international theme. I wanted large art for the walls that had certain unusual color combinations and fit the feel of the room. AFter years of exhaustive searching in galleries and catalogues, I found a wonderful Eastern European batik - it's looks more African - yellows and reds, looks like a man and woman facing each other (similar profiles to some African carvings), with some fertility-like symbols. It was $4. I would have spend 100 times that and couldn't have found anything more perfect. Then a few years later, I found an Asian cloth painting - probably from Thailand. Again, perfect colors and fit. It was already framed and cost $5. Lastly, we were looking to replace an ugly offwhite accordian lampshade, with colors to match an atypical combination in our LR. Looked in lots of lamp stores, catalogues, art fairs. No avail. Then found one that was tailor-made - can't remember if it was $1 or $3. Hand-painted, colorful, but washed colors (like Alexnadra Julian watercolor sheets).

- The other categories of great finds is all the toys I've discovered for my daughter (whose 5). At less than $1, I can afford to buy many things to find the few she might like. It's a great money savings. But mroe importantly, I've discovered toys I didn't know existed and some which are no longer made (like the English Bluebird polly pocket compacts).

I love everything about yard sales. Exploring neighborhoods, talking to people, getting bargains, and finding treasures I might never have found elsewhere.

pp.s. Oh, and boxes and boxes (hundreds of dollars worth) of Christmas village decorations for $20.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2005 at 10:32PM
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Photobob I was probably the one who took your patio chairs!:) Probably my wicker has been the best find so far. One of the best deals we got was a new garden umbrella at a tagsale for cheap cheap. Also a real nice headboard and footboard with the inlaid wood medllions on them and my favorite was my doggie from the pound.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2005 at 6:38AM
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My best "find" was a Van Briggle pitcher for $5.00 at a yard sale. It was sitting under a table almost out of sight. I had bent down to look at a picture and noticed it. Had I not bent to look at the picture I probably would have missed it. It is proudly sitting on my dining room table with some wheat stalks in it.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2005 at 5:30PM
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