A surprisingly large number of people report never having gone into their attic space at all! The reasons given range from access difficulties to fears about spiders or bats being present.
However, if you’re considering a loft conversion you might want to take some time to have a close look at that unused space just in case there are strange secrets lurking up there which could have lain undiscovered for many years.
Attics have long been a place of secrets; they’re usually undisturbed and so they’ve traditionally been a place to hide things away or to keep valuable safe. What happens though when these things are forgotten?
A Rare Comic
David Gonzalez bought his Minnesota home for under $11,000 as a project. He immediately set about some DIY and during the demolition of a wall, he uncovered a large amount of old newspapers which had been used as insulation in the ceiling cavity.
He looked through them all and found what is considered to be the Holy Grail of comics for collectors…the very first issue of Action Comics which was printed in 1938. Gonzalez knew immediately that this was something special and he later auctioned it off for $175,000 making the comic worth a lot more than the house!
A Quing Dynasty Vase
A Mother and her son from Ruislip were in the midst of clearing out the loft of a deceased relative’s home in nearby Pinner when they came across something interesting; a large, ornate vase which though covered in dust, had the appearance of being something rather unusual even to the untrained eye.
After examining the vase, the pair felt that it was special and took it to be valued where it was immediately recognised as a priceless antique dating from the 16th century.
The vase, decorated with goldfish is now understood to be the most valuable piece of Chinese porcelain ever and the Mother and son who found it have gone into hiding following its auction at Bainbridge’s.
The auction attracted global interest and sparked a bidding war. When it finally sold to a Chinese bidder for the sum of 86 million pounds, the auctioneer was so excited he broke his gavel as he banged it down and called “sold!”. The auctioneer stands to make 9 million in commission and the Mother and son? Nobody knows where they are as to avoid unwanted media attention they have chosen to remain anonymous.
A Treasure Trove of Personal Items
When Rudi Schlattner was just 13 years old, his family were forced to leave their home in Czechoslovakia. World War II had just ended and all Germans were being forced to leave the country.
Rudi’s Father hid some of the family’s personal belongings in a concealed space within the attic of their large house in the hope that he could one day return to retrieve them.
That day never came but Rudi never forgot his Father’s actions and when he was 83, he decided that it was time to return to the old house and try to find the things.
He did not hold out much hope because the house has been through many changes, many renovations and is now a Kindergarten. But the owners of the building were more than happy to allow Rudi and some of his relatives to return for an investigation.
Rudi remembered his Father telling him that there would be a piece of string marking the spot where the items were concealed but since the building had undergone roof alterations, Rudi felt there wasn’t much hope.
However, after examining the wooden panels in the attic, he found one which sounded hollow and there, hanging out of a fissure was the very string his Father had spoken of, exactly where it had been for 70 years.
The panel was opened and within the opening were more than 70 meticulously wrapped parcels containing everything from art works to dolls, sewing supplies and tools, clothing and books.
Rudi has been assisting museum officials in documenting each item and they will all be on view to the public in a nearby museum.
So, whether you’ve got Quing Dynasty vases, valuable comics or nothing but old Christmas decorations hiding in your loft, remember this…you never know until you look!
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