Cash in the Attic – Finding fortunes before and during loft conversions

At Modern Attics we have great experience in loft conversions and attic conversions. What we have discovered over time is just how many amazing or surprising items can be found up in those rafters. Today’s blog is all about identifying the amazing finds that people have discovered when rifling through their attics before or during a loft conversion.

There’s always that one room in the house that gets left un-tidied for years, the place where all the impossible to categorise items you can’t find a place for seem to end up. For many people, that room is the loft.

Unsurprisingly then, often the first step in the loft conversion process is a massive cleanup and sort-through of all your old belongings. Over the years, people venturing into their attics for the first time in months have uncovered a weird and wonderful array of forgotten possessions. The existence of a popular TV series following people auctioning off the unidentified treasures they’ve found in their loft proves that you just might be surprised by what you find when you climb the ladder into the most mysterious room in your house.

Of course some finds are a little more special than others.

Take the case, for example, of the Scottish pensioner who ventured into his attic to prepare for a loft conversion only to discover £250,000 worth of stolen artwork. The 5 paintings by 19th Century artists Robert Gemmell Hutchinson and Sir James Guthrie had been mysteriously stolen an entire 6 years before their discovery and police remained baffled as to how they had ended up in the Helensburgh attic.

There’s also the story of the telescope discovered in a dusty loft earlier this month which turned out to be the former possession of Edward John Smith, better known as the Captain of legendary ship, the Titanic. This historic relic, thought to have survived four serious collisions while in use on board Captain Smith’s former ship, the Olympic, was identified by excited auctioneer John Crane and is expected to fetch the lucky vendor over £20,000.

Last but by no means least is the tale of the unidentified mother and son who gained a jaw-dropping £53 million through the sale of a rare Chinese vase they found in their parents attic. The lucky pair were completely unaware of just how valuable their discovery was when they found it while sorting through the inherited belongings of the recently deceased elderly couple, but took it to an auctionner for a valuation just in case.

Even the £1.2 million value estimate was nothing compared to the eventual sale price, however, as a host of Chinese businessmen pushed the bidding up beyond all expectations to the highest price ever observed for a piece of Chinese artwork at auction. In fact the adventure into their parents loft had proved so lucrative for the pair that they decided to go into hiding following the auction to decide what to do with their new found wealth!

So when you come face to face with boxes and boxes of miscellaneous ‘junk’ in your attic in the run up to your loft conversion, just remember that in among’st the clutter, there could be some priceless gem or timeless antique hidden where you’d least expect it.


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