On the hunt for the steal of the century, one man found much more than what he was looking for in an item that not only bought him joy, but it enabled him to spread the joy to complete strangers.
Finding A Bargain
Most of us adore wandering around an antique market and yard sale, trying our best to find that unique item that no one else will have. For some, they even happy to stumble across something that they later find out is worth a fortune, and even better, the majority of the items can be purchased at a steal price.
An Ordinary Person
The amazing thing about yard sales is that any normal person can find an item that will change their lives and that is exactly what happened to retired US veteran, Emil Knodell from Texas. Throughout his life, the 67-year-old had always been an avid treasure hunter, scouring storage sales, second-hand stores, and yard sales in the hope to find that one special item.
Where Has It Come From?
Walking around all the items for sale, you can often wonder why the person has decided to sell it as well as think where the item had exactly come from, especially those antique items. One day when flicking through the newspaper he saw an advert for a yard sale coming up in a city not so far from where he lived, and so he set off on his journey to Missouri City, Texas.
The Time Finally Came
To him, the sale looked just like any other he had been to in the past, but his curiosity was always looking for something for that one special item. It was at this particular sale that he got exactly what he had been asking for, that not only had value but a wonderful story behind it. Better yet, he got it for that bargain price he had been looking for.
Different Type Of Sale
When Emil arrived at the sale, he thought it would just be like any other he had visited before and yet very quickly he realized something was a little different. As he began to look around, somebody came over and greeted him and informed him that the sale was not independent and was being run by a company named Premier Estates Sales Network.
Although it meant the sale would be much more organized than most others, Emil was also aware that it limited the ease of bargaining as well as the likelihood of finding a unique item. These types of companies go through all the contents rather thoroughly to ensure there isn’t something worth a fortune hiding anywhere – but in this case, they didn’t look hard enough.
Drawn To An Item
This didn’t deter Emil and he dug in deep, looking for the item he wanted, he told the local newspaper, “I always come to a sale with an open mind because you never know.” This attitude is what keep bargain hunters continuing their hobby. It was then, in the corner of his eye, that he became drawn to something, and it was an item he wouldn’t usually look at.
Was this going to be the piece he had been looking for? There on the front lawn was an antique wooden dresser, that one the outside, looked nothing particularly special. With three draws and a marble top it was certainly vintage and when he read the appraisal, Emil understood it dated back in the 1890s. What it because of the age of the item that it had value?
Drawn To The Dresser
As he went over the dresser, checking its condition, he rummaged through the draws and wondered if he would find anything inside. After looking over the piece of furniture, he was a little sad to not have found anything too memorable but there was something about it that pulled Emil in, and he just couldn’t walk away, and it is a good job he didn’t.
Better Price Tag
The sale was already in its third day and with the dresser still sat there, he knew no one had shown it any attention and so it gave him the upper hand when it came dealing with the sales representative from the company for a better price. The dresser’s original price wasn’t particularly cheap, with a price tag of $300, but with the passing days, they were happy to sell it for a third of the price.
A well maintained antique 1890s dresser at that price was an absolute steal and it was after he purchased it, that he realized there was much more to it than what he had originally thought. Without anyone knowing, the furniture was holding not just a piece of history, but many different pieces. How had it been passed on to multiple people and then to the company without anyone realizing?
An Ideal Item
It seemed Emil had indeed found that particular feature he had been looking for and he had just hit the jackpot with this one. His new purchase would not only make him double or triple what he had originally paid, but it would make him a whopping profit of around 150 times the initial price. Now that is one perfect purchase.
Inside The Dresser
With his purchase, Emil was ready to leave the sale and with a helping hand he carried the dresser over to his car. It was as he lifted the piece that he came to the realization that there was a secret being held inside of the dresser. What had he found and how had no one else before now found it?
As Emil and the kind helper lifted the dresser into the car, they both thought that, for an empty dresser, it was rather heavy. But how could it possibly feel like it had anything inside? Emil had opened all the draws and knew there was nothing in any of them. So, they placed it on the floor, but this time laid it on its side and that’s where the mystery was solved.
What Is Hiding Inside?
As the dresser was gently handled to the floor, Emil heard lots of movement inside of the dresser. It was obvious that multiple items had slid from one side to the other. Stood around, trying to help, was a representative from the sales company and a couple of other people, with each of them convinced the dresser was empty. As they all looked at each other rather confused, they wondered what they had just heard.
They Were All Confused
Emil and the others checked once again inside all of the draws in the dresser, to yet again, find it to be empty. Where were the hidden items? Would they have to smash open the dresser to discover what was hiding inside? The kind man helping Emil was named Allen and he told a reporter, “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.”
Emil and Allen decided that they just absolutely had to know what was hiding inside the dresser but wanted to find out without doing any damage. They flipped it around and lay it on its back rather than on the side, and viola, the mystery was solved, and they couldn’t believe they had missed the secret compartment before now.
At the bottom of the dresser, there was a thinner piece of wood covering something behind it. Emil explained, “When you look at the front of it, it looks like it has three obvious drawers with molding on the base. But the bottom has a secret drawer that opens up.” The hiding place was a genius idea, and it proved itself in that no one else had noticed it before now.
Pieces Of Treasure
Emil was about to make many people jealous, they had been many people look at the item before he did but all wondered how they would find space for the dresser and so they passed on buying it. There inside the secret department, was an array of stunning antiques and treasures. How did they get there?
It so happened that the items being sold belonged to a man who had recently passed away and it was his son who set up the sale. The find was not only a surprise to Emil, but to everyone else involved. There was not one immediate person who knew about the secret hiding place. There was only one thing left to do, and that was to get inside and see what was there.
History Of America
Emil and Allen dived in and managed to get the compartment open and this was when they realized Emil had just purchased a gold mine with his 1890s dresser. There lying in the secret drawer was a mass amount of very important historical artifacts, that disclosed a lot of information on American history.
There’s Treasure Inside
It was at this time that Emil realized he had actually found a real-life treasure chest. There inside the fourth draw was a multitude of jewels, the original owners’ personal items and money from all over the world. Not only that, but there were also military awards which dated way back to the Civil War. Alongside the breath-taking items, there was also something rather odd.
What To Do?
In the middle of all things shiny, there was a lock of hair! With the amount of history seeped items, the dressers value had drastically increased to no less than $15,000. An insane profit made on the $100 he paid for the item only a few hours before. It was then Emil’s decision that set the items on a new path. There was something inside of him that couldn’t bear to sell the items on, what if someone was missing them?
Being the nice man that he is, Emil couldn’t even think about keeping the items and selling them on, nor did he want them to go to another person who would exactly that. The US veteran felt the need to persevere and do the right thing. Without a second thought, Emil requested that the estate sale company return all the items to the next of kin.
The Right Thing
Speaking about his feelings he said, “I bought the chest [of] 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.” The wonderful thing here is that the money didn’t matter to Emil, he knew how sentimental the items were and he did the right thing.