Man’s Garage Sale Bargain Gave Up a Secret When He Got it Home

Yard sales usually aren’t all that interesting, though they do have their devotees. You might find a useful thing or two, maybe even a funny knickknack to give a friend as a joke gift. It’s only rarely that real “finds” only turn up.

Emil Knodell had quite a find at a yard sale in Belleville, Texas. The 67-year-old antique hunter found a beautiful antique hand-crafted walnut chest of drawers with a solid marble top. It was marked down to $100. That might seem pricey for a yard sale item, but for this 125-year-old piece of furniture, it was a great bargain.

Later, when Knodell and a friend were loading the chest onto a truck, they heard a jingling and jangling sound. It turned out the chest had a secret compartment he’d missed when first examining it! Knodell found a small but amazing treasure trove inside. Among other things, there were gold and silver coins, diamonds, pearls, jewelry, military dog tags and medals, and Civil-War-era memorabilia.

Knodell could have kept this loot for himself. After all, wasn’t it the seller’s responsibility to make sure it had been emptied out? But realizing that the contents were obviously important family heirlooms, he contacted the seller to see if he could return the chest of drawers and its remarkable contents.

It turned out the chest had belonged to the seller’s grandparents, but he never knew there was a secret compartment. He was surprised and very grateful to get the family heirlooms back. A lot of buyers would have laughed all the way to the bank.

We’ve posted a local TV station’s coverage of this remarkable story. When you see the drawer full of glittering treasure, you’ll see just how honorable this antique buyer really is. Emil Knodell’s kindness and integrity are welcoming, and hopefully, the heirlooms bring much joy to the grandson they were returned to.