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(mysterious music) – [Voiceover] Rummaging through a garage sale in Tennessee, Michael Sparks purchased salt and pepper shakers and a copy of the Declaration of Independence for a total of $2. 48. After going home and examining his purchase, Sparks began to think that this document was more than a cheap reprint.
While what Michael found was not the Declaration of Independence, it was a Congress-ordered copy from 1820. In that year, Congress commissioned William J. Stone to create 200 reproductions of the Declaration of Independence. It was believed that only 35 of these reproductions were still in existence. Luckily for Sparks, he purchased the 36th reproduction for less than $3 at a garage sale. After being validated, the document sold at auction for $477,650. As the last item illustrated, when something once thought to be missing or destroyed is found, it dramatically increases in value. This was also the case for our next item. Rick Norsigian bought two small boxes of glass negatives from a garage sale for $45. He’d even haggled the price down from $75. After keeping the 65 glass negatives under his pool table for four years, he decided to get them appraised. To his delight, these negatives belonged to Ansel Adams, the father of American photography. The negatives were thought to have been destroyed in a 1937 darkroom fire that destroyed 5,000 plates. The negatives were estimated to be worth at least $200 million. It’s likely that the owner of that garage sale really wishes he hadn’t let Norsigian negotiate him out of that $25, and not to mention the additional $200 million they’re worth. Wanting a nice antique table for her home, Claire Wiegand-Beckmann, a retired teacher, purchased a table for $25 at a yard sale in 1998. The table sat in her home for 30 years before she decided to get it appraised on the PBS show Antiques Roadshow. The card table was from the 18th century and made by Boston furniture maker, John Seymour and Son. The show appraised the table to be worth $300,000. All in all, the table sold for 21,660 times the original price of $25. After her appraisal, Claire sold her table for $541,500. Our second item didn’t quite reach into the millions, but it was still a noteworthy sale. Frankenstein memorabilia from the 1931 movie can be quite popular with collectors, which is why the discovery of an original movie poster was such a great find. Found in the projection booth of a remodeled theater, this movie poster from the original 1931 movie was valued at between $100,000 to $200,000. However, when it sold, the Heritage Auction House in Dallas, Texas, the final bid was for $358,500. Not bad for an old movie poster. As unlikely a place as any to find a $1. 6 million piece of furniture is outside the bathroom of a pizza parlor, but that is exactly where a long lost 17th century cabinet was found. The Roman Baroque furniture, featuring a picture of the pope blessing the crowd in Rome was feared to be lost forever. That is, until the head of furniture at Sotheby’s found it in this highly unlikely location after looking for it for nearly 20 years. It’s a good thing Tavella needed to run to the bathroom while enjoying pizza or it could have been another 20 years of searching. Our next item was a fairly expensive purchase compared to the others on this list, but the investment was well worth it for Ian Coulson. He purchased a four-post bed on an online auction for about $3,000, but Coulson, a four-post bed specialist, had a suspicion that the bed had some greater significance. He approached the TV historian Jonathan Foyle who confirmed that this four-post bed was the only surviving Tudor bed. DNA testing proved that this bed belonged to King Henry VII back in 1486. This little fact turned Coulson’s $3,000 investment into a $30 million return. While going garage sale-ing in Las Vegas, British businessman Andy Fields purchased what seemed to be a child’s drawing for $5three . The drawing did end up being sketched by a child.
Luckily for Fields, however, that child happened to be pop art pioneer Andy Warhol. Warhol apparently sketched the drawing at age 10 while on bed rest suffering from cholera. This depiction of 1930s singer Rudy Vallee drawn by young Warhol was later appraised at $2 million. Thinking they bought an average small piece of China for $3 at a garage sale, a New York family was surprised when they had the bowl appraised six years later. The five and a half inch bowl apparently was from China’s Northern Song dynasty, which ruled China from 960 to 1127 AD. The only other known bowl of similar size and design has been in the collection of the British Museum for over 60 years. This rare bowl was valued between $200,000 and $300,000, but sold for $2. 2 million at an auction. A 17th century Japanese lacquer box, known as the Mazarin Chest, was a masterpiece in its time. The largest of the two Mazarin golden chests was considered lost for centuries and the Victoria and Albert Museum searched for it in order to bring the two chests together. Not knowing the chest’s significance or worth, a French engineer bought it for $160 in 1970 and used it as a TV stand for 16 years. When he retired, he brought it with him to his retirement community and used it as a bar. After the engineer’s passing, his family called a specialist and had it appraised. It was then that the missing Mazarin Chest was found and then sold for $9. 5 million. Cleaning out their recently deceased parent’s house, a brother and a sister in the UK found an old vase that they thought might be worth a little money. Upon having it appraised, they found out it was actually worth a lot of money: $1. 7 million to be exact. The 18th century Qianlong dynasty porcelain piece was put up for auction, and this is where things got crazy. Over the course of 30 minutes, Chinese buyers pushed the bidding up to over $63 million, a world record for that amount of time. Understandably, the sister almost passed out from the seemingly never-ending increase of the bids. By the end of the auction, the final few bidders were increasing their bids in $1. 5 million increments. The piece is believed to have drawn the highest price for any Chinese artwork ever sold at auction for a total price of $85 million. For more Top Lists just like this, be sure to leave a Like and comment if you haven’t already, and don’t forget to check out our other list and we’ll see you all next time. .