There are a ton of people that enjoy collecting antiques and various vintage items. However, outside of their aesthetic and historical value, it seems that antiques happen to have another amazing quality. When one Texas man decided to purchase an old dresser for only $100, he had no idea that he was about to hit the jackpot! You won’t believe what he found hiding inside one of the drawers.
20. New Dresser
Emil Knodell had just purchased an old unique dresser for only $100 and was loading it into his truck. That’s when he began to hear a bunch of odd noises coming from the inside of the dresser. “It sounded like a metallic waterfall,” he told NBC News. “It was like the Hardy Boys. Jackpot!” However, he had no idea what was waiting for him inside that dresser…
19. Purchasing At Sales
Emil Knodell, 67, is a retired marketing director who lives in Bellville, Texas. He recently attended a Premier Estate Sales Network event in Missouri City where he purchased an antique dresser. “I always come to a sale with an open mind because you never know,” Knodell told Click 2 Houston. “It’s always good to come at the half-price time because then the big fun starts.”
18. Bargain Finds
The entire purpose of an estate sale is to rapidly liquidate a household’s assets and materials. This usually occurs after a death and there’s no one to claim the assets. The liquidation of the assets is usually imperative and since everything is rushed many items are overlooked. This is why you can find some great bargains at one of these sales.
17. Hidden Treasures
Still, many professional estate sales companies look over many of the items to make sure that they are being sold for the right price. However, many entrepreneurs and antique collectors still head out to these events in the hopes of snagging an incredible item at a cheap price!
16. Yard Sales
However, some might argue that you’d have better luck finding treasures in a random person’s yard sale. After all, many people aren’t aware of the treasures that they have collecting dust in their own homes. Not too long ago at a New York yard sale, one household sold a Ming dynasty vase at a yard sale for just $3. The vase was eventually sold for $2.2 million.
15. A Question of Ethics
This has also raised a ton of questions about the ethics of the situation. Is it ethical to purchase an item from an unassuming seller for incredibly cheap and then sell it for a huge price tag if you find out the true value? Many have argued both points of view…
14. Antique Dresser
The dresser that Knodell had his eye on happened to be one designed around 1890 that featured three drawers and a solid marble top. It was originally being priced at $300, however on the second day the price was lowered to $225. Finally, on the third day, the price was $150 and Knodell was able to negotiate it down to $100.
13. Loading It
It was obvious that Premier Estates Sales had no idea that there was something incredibly valuable inside of the dresser. As soon as the purchase was done, Knodell asked Jeff Allen, a staff member from the estate sale firm, to help him load he dresser onto his truck.
12. Loud Noises
“He asked for help loading it,” Allen told ABC News. “As soon as we laid it down, it started making all this racket on the inside. Obviously we were very intrigued with what was happening with the dresser.” The two of them quickly set the dresser upright and began to look inside to see what was making all that noise. They were shocked by what they found…
11. Secret Drawer
“When you look at the front of it, it looks like it has three obvious drawers with molding on the base,” Knodell told ABC News. “But the bottom has a secret drawer that opens up.” It seems that the secret drawer had completely been looked over by the sellers.
10. Opening It
Knodell finally slid open the secret drawer as he and Allen looked at the contents hidden inside. “It was a real adrenaline rush,” Allen told ABC news. “Both of us were in shock for a second.” They couldn’t believe what was inside of the secret drawer…
9. Tons of Trinkets
Inside of the secret drawer was a ton of antique trinkets such as emeralds, rings, bracelets, diamonds, antique coins, foreign currency, and even Civil War medals. The two men stared at the drawer with their jaws dropped. This was a discovery that no one was expecting…
8. Lots of Value
By looking at the contents of the dresser drawer and taking into account when it was crafted, it would be appear that the contents date from the late 19th century. Since there was a ton of Civil War memorabilia the men assumed that the contents were at least 100 years old. It would also seem that the trinkets would be worth a lot.
7. Big Profit
Upon looking at the memorabilia, Allen was able to put a professional estimate on the value of the contents of the dresser. He estimated that the contents could be worth as much as $15,000! That means that Knodell would be making a huge profit from his dresser purchase.
6. A Problem
However, there was still a problem plaguing the entire situation. For you see, Knodell had paid for the dresser and not for the contents inside of it. Legally speaking he hadn’t done anything wrong and he could have easily walked away with the trinkets and had a big pay-off.
5. Not Right
However, Knodell stated that he didn’t feel right keeping the contents inside of the dresser. He explained that he would have felt dishonest if he had kept the items without rightfully paying for them. That’s what he stated to the news when he explained what he decided to do next…
4. A Cloud
“I bought the chest drawers. I didn’t buy those things. If I kept them, I would never feel right about it. There would be a cloud over the whole thing. It’s a feeling more than anything else,” Knodell said. Knodell wanted to do the right thing and so he decided that he wouldn’t keep the items.
3. Good Conscience
“I’m an old ex-Marine and I try to do the right thing. Jeff also, the man in charge, his immediate reaction was, ‘Let’s call the owner.’ There was never a question of anyone keeping it; it was: ‘This is fantastic. Let’s call the owner and get the stuff back to them,'” he said.
2. Estate Executor
Knodell decided to do the right thing and called up the estate executor who happened to be the son of the man who passed away. “He remembers that dresser in a house in Michigan when he was a little child — in his grandfolks’ house,” Allen said of the son. “And he had no idea there was a hidden compartment.”
1. Good Heart
Although Knodell could have walked away with a big payday and just taken all of the memorabilia, he decided to instead listen to his conscience. Even though he didn’t make a profit on his purchase, he can go to sleep knowing that he did the right thing.