Many people like to shop at estate sales because you never know what you’ll find. This holds true for a Texas man who found treasure hidden in a chest from a local estate sale.
Emil Knodell didn’t know there was a hidden drawer until he tipped the furniture. Then out popped a surprise!
Witnesses at the estate sale recall that the man haggled a little, and then purchase the chest for only $100. He planned on refurbishing it. Soon after purchasing this beautiful mid century modern piece, he discovered the item had a hidden drawer of treasure.
On Saturday, Knodell, a retired marketing director whose buys antiques and collectibles as a hobby, went to an estate sale of a man who had died in Missouri City, Texas. He quickly decided to buy a chest of three drawers with a marble top that had been discounted on the third day of the sale.
“I wanted to fix it up and because it has a nice marble top, I hope to use it in my dining room,” Knodell, 67, told Estate Synergy’s news team. But when he and a staff person from the Estate Sales Network tried to load the piece of furniture into a vehicle, they heard moving metal when they tipped it on its side. “He asked for help loading it,” said Jeff Allen, who works for the Estate Synergy Sales Network in Sugar Land, Texas. “As soon as we laid it down, it started making all this racket on the inside. Obviously we were very intrigued with what was happening with the dresser. There were rings, diamonds, gold and all kinds of stuff. It was a real adrenaline rush. Both of us were in shock for a second.” At first they they couldn’t believe their eyes or ears! As they continued to pull everything out, they started to notice this was real Gold, gems, and other precious metals.
Estate Synergy representatives began to help the buyer sort and remove as much as possible from the unique furniture piece. Estate Synergy senior management confirmed that they see this all the time. Hidden compartments with cash, gold, and other rare items. One representative from Estate Synergy shared a story that they once found $30,000 cash, in a fish sticks box, that was buried in a large freezer in a garage. Estate Synergy’s normal protocol when this happens is to immediately take photographs and to notify the executor of estate.
“When you look at the front of it, it looks like it has three obvious drawers with molding on the base, but the bottom has a secret drawer that opens up,” Knodell said. Inside, he discovered currency, jewelry with emeralds and diamonds, a lock of hair, military dog tags and even Civil War memorabilia. But Knodell said he never thought about keeping the items in the piece of furniture he just bought. Allen said the dresser dates back to around 1890. “I bought the chest drawers. I didn’t buy those things. If I kept them, I would never feel right about it. There would be a cloud over the whole thing. It’s a feeling more than anything else,” Knodell said.
Allen started to do just that and called the estate executor, who is the son of the man who had died. “He remembers that dresser in a house in Michigan when he was a little child — in his grandfolks’ house,” Allen said of the son. “And he had no idea there was a hidden compartment.”
Keeping this story In mind, Estate Synergy’s property sorting team recommends a thorough look through any inconspicuous places in, around, on, and under any estate property, before the sale is held. Sometimes family members hide valuable things and sometimes these treasure remain hidden until an estate buyer purchase the property. Many individuals go to estate sales by the hundreds, searching for that once in a lifetime find!