Cash in the attic! The staggering £50k haul of antiques a family found gathering dust at their dead relative’s home

September 20, 2012 | by | 0 Comments

This is the incredible gold mine of £50,000 worth of antiques which a grieving family stumbled upon when they emptied an elderly relative’s modest home.

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

It included 150 antique watches – including a rare Patek Philippe – solid gold coins dating back to the reign of Charles II and more than 100 pieces of silverware.

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 huge collection of ceremonial swords, bayonets and daggers – most from the Third Reich and some from the American Civil War – was also uncovered.

The deceased man’s stunned sister, who has not been identified, discovered the items after she arrived to clear his cluttered home after his death in June.

Philip Allwood, of auctioneers Moore Allen & Innocent which is selling the treasure trove, said the family had “no idea” of what was inside the man’s home.

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

He said: “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.

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.

More than 30 silver salvers – trays by waiting staff – were also discovered at the home.

One, a 44cm Edward VIII by JRF & Co of London, which weighs around 90 ounces, is expected to fetch up to £1,500.

A 41cm George II silver salver by Paul Crespin of London could reach £1,500, while a 45cm Edward VII silver salver by Mappin & Webb of Sheffield 1936 is valued up to £1,500.

The man also had an 18ct gold George III pocket watch by world-renowned James McCabe, expected to reach between £600 and £1,000.

A gold cased full hunter pocket watch by Patek Philippe of Geneva – considered the makers of the 20th century’s finest watches – is worth £800 to £1,200.

In the coin hoard, a James II five guinea piece from 1688 and a William & Mary five guinea piece from 1692 should fetch up to £3,000 each.

A Charles II five guinea piece from 1668 should achieve between #1,500 and #2,000.

Specialist collectors have already contacted the auction house about the blades – more than 30 in total – which were found in the home.

One dagger, owned by a member of the Reichsarbeitsdienst – or Reich Labour Service – engraved ‘Arbeit Adelt’, ‘Work Ennobles’ is estimated to fetch up to #400.

A Nazi brownshirt dagger inscribed ‘Alles fur Deutschland’ could fetch £150.

The collection also includes an American Civil War US Navy Dahlgren Bowie bayonet, stamped 1862, which should achieve between £300 and £500.

The man’s items – around 90 per cent of his estate – will be sold as part of a number of notable collections at the Selected Antiques Sale of Moore Allen & Innocent in Cirencester next Friday.

They are expected to fetch £50,000 and it is believed the man’s surviving son will be the sole beneficiary.

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