There are always a couple of forgotten things hidden away in your house’s or grandparents’ house’s or someone else’s house’s attic. Although most of the things you’d find would probably bring nothing more than nostalgia, there are a couple of people who were lucky enough to have found priceless items and downright treasures hidden away in their attic. Here are five incredible things that people found in their attic.
1. An Authentic Van Gogh Painting
In 1991, the owners of the painting contacted the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam to see whether if the painting they had was an authentic Van Gogh or not. The painting, The Sunset at Montmajour, was deemed fake by the experts since it was unsigned. Since then, the painting had been sitting in the attic of a Norwegian man until it once again went under analysis, but now with the help of technology.
After two years of chemical analysis and x-ray technology, the painting was announced an authentic Vincent Van Gogh in 2013, believed to be unsigned because Van Gogh disliked it.
2. Hitler’s Record Collection
When Alexandra Besymenski went to retrieve a badminton racket from her father’s attic in 1991, she instead found a stack of records labelled Führerhauptquartier which is German for Reich Chancellery.
It turns out, her father and former captain of the Russian military intelligence unit, Lew Besymenski, grabbed the records as souvenir when they went to the recently captured headquarters of the Nazi party, the Reich Chancellery, in Berlin shortly after the end of World War II in 1945 to transfer Hitler’s belongings to Germany. Among the composers in Adolf’s collection were Tchaikovsky, Borodin, and Rachmaninoff.
Josh Ferrin and his family had just moved in to the house of the recently deceased Arnold Bangerter when they discovered a secret attic with a bunch of World War II ammunition cases. What they found inside the cases, however, were rolled up bills amounting to $45,000.
Although that amount of money could’ve helped out a lot with their bills, Josh instead decided to return the money to the eldest son of Bangerter. Josh later explained that he knew the money wasn’t theirs and that you don’t get a lot of chances to do something radically honest, so he decided to return the money hoping that it would be a great lesson to teach his children.
4. The Original Manuscript to Huckleberry Finn
Barbara Gluck Testa was digging around in her grandfather’s old trunk in the attic of her Los Angeles home when she stumbled upon the original manuscript of the first half of Huckleberry Finn.
Her grandfather, James Fraser Gluck, happened to be a friend of Mark Twain and had perhaps borrowed the first half of the manuscript from the Buffalo library and forgot to return it. After Gluck’s early demise, his daughter, Margo, brought the contents of the trunk, including the manuscript, to California and left it to her nieces after she died. The manuscript had no title page so it was believed to be nothing more than one of James Gluck’s documents.
After more than a century of being lost, the discovery of Twain’s manuscript is perhaps the most amazing survival in American Literature. It is believed to be in Twain’s own handwriting and it contains all the drafts and changes made to the book. There were even a couple of episodes that were not included in the published The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
5. A Russian Czar’s Figurine Gift
After the passing of New York art gallery owner George Davis, his executor found a Faberge figure commissioned by Russian Czar, Nicholas II, himself for his wife Empress Alexandra. The figurine was stashed away in Davis’ attic for almost 70 years.
After the death of the Russian Czar and his family, Armand Hammer first bought the figurine before Davis purchased it for $2,250 in 1934. When the doll was auctioned off, the Faberge figure sold for $5.2 million.