Cash in the attic! Antique collection found gathering dust at dead relative’s home sells at auction for £110k

October 2, 2012 | by | 0 Comments

An incredible gold mine of antiques found by a grieving family when they emptied a deceased relative’s modest home has sold for £111,000 at auction.

The incredible haul was stuffed into bin bags, hidden in suitcases and dumped in the garden shed at the unassuming property in Swindon, Wilts.

Relatives discovered the items after arriving to clear his cluttered home following his death in June.

A collection of silverware that was found at the unassuming home in Swindon

A collection of silverware that was found at the unassuming home in Swindon

A James II gold five guineas coin dated 1688 made £7,900 – well above its valuation of £2,000.

A Charles II gold five guineas coin dated 1668 made £4,600.

The top seller of the more than 150 antique pocket watches found in a suitcase was an 18-carat gold watch which made £1,800.

A dagger owned by a member of the Nazi Labour Service sold for £720, and an American Civil War bayonet dated 1862 sold for £620.

A George III pocket watch worth between £600  and £1,000 that was one of many antiques discovered gathering dust

A George III pocket watch worth between £600 and £1,000 that was one of many antiques discovered gathering dust

A Charles II five guinea coin worth £2,000 that was one of several gold coins found at the property

A Charles II five guinea coin worth £2,000 that was one of several gold coins found at the property

 

A Nazi brownshirt dagger inscribed 'Alles fur Deutschland' worth between £100 to £150 that was found lying around in the home

A Nazi brownshirt dagger inscribed ‘Alles fur Deutschland’ worth between £100 to £150 that was found lying around in the home

Philip Allwood, of auctioneers Moore Allen & Innocent which sold the treasure trove in a marathon five-hour bidding war, said the sale was “exceptional”.

He said: “We were delighted to break the £100,000 total, and the £111,000 collection total is exceptional.

“When the family invited me to look at these antiques I was expecting a quantity of silver plate.

“I was amazed when I discovered all this high quality silver and gold. “Friday’s sale was rather hectic.”

Mr Allwood  said the family had “no idea” of what was inside the man’s home.

 

A 19cm brass candlestick from the 1600 which could sell for £500

A 19cm brass candlestick from the 1600 which could sell for £500

A Roman carved stone altar piece, depicting Fortuna, the Goddess of Fortune worth at least £1,000

A Roman carved stone altar piece, depicting Fortuna, the Goddess of Fortune worth at least £1,000

A pair of shibyama boxes as seated rats upon drums. The dead man had spent years trawling antique fairs to amass the vast collection

A pair of shibyama boxes as seated rats upon drums. The dead man had spent years trawling antique fairs to amass the vast collection

A late Regency rosewood and brass bound bonheur du jour lady's writing table in the manner of John McLean. It was one of many such items littered around the home

A late Regency rosewood and brass bound bonheur du jour lady’s writing table in the manner of John McLean. It was one of many such items littered around the home

A three metre long elm refectory table with an estimate of £6,000 and £9,000. Proceeds of the sale will go to the dead man's relatives

A three metre long elm refectory table with an estimate of £6,000 and £9,000. Proceeds of the sale will go to the dead man’s relatives

“The family just kept discovering more valuable items placed in bin bags or wrapped in paper all over the place. The house was in a real mess.

“In the drive there were a couple of beaten up cars and they contained bags of coins. The antiques were kept in meagre surroundings.

“It wasn’t a tidy, smart sort of place. Everything the man had went on these items. It is fair to say it was obsessive.”

Mr Allwood said the man had spent years trawling round antiques dealers and auction houses to find items for his vast collection.

He added: “I received a call from the man’s sister after she first looked inside the house.
She told me there was silver all over the place, in the cupboards, the dresser, in the loo.

“I turned up and was expecting it to be silver plate but she showed me six dustbin bags full of antiques.

“It was a real Aladdin’s Cave and a big shock to the family.

“There were about 150 pocket watches and a huge amount of high quality silver and gold.

“We returned and discovered more silver and all the Nazi daggers, bayonets and coins worth thousands and thousands of pounds.

“The family just kept discovering more valuable items placed in bin bags or wrapped in paper all over the place. The house was in a real mess.

“In the drive there were a couple of beaten up cars and they contained bags of coins. The antiques were kept in meagre surroundings.

“It wasn’t a tidy, smart sort of place. Everything the man had went on these items. It is fair to say it was obsessive.”

Mr Allwood said the man must have spent years trawling round antiques dealers and auction houses to find items for his vast collection.

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