Many people use their garages for storage, but for most of us that means boxes of old childhood toys, mementos, sports equipment and toolboxes. Occasionally however, people store – and then forget about – some extraordinary things.
In a Bury garage, house clearers recently found a cardboard soup box containing an extremely rare 18th century Jewish manuscript. Called a haggadah, it’s completely hand written and illustrated, and is painted on goat skin. The manuscript will go to auction at the end of November, and while it’s listed at between £100,000 and £150,000, auctioneers say it could go much higher; up to half a million pounds.
More extraordinary finds from garages include:
Rare Cars – The 1937 Bugatti Type 57S was a very rare supercar; there were only 43 made, and only 17 of those had the “Atalante” body style. One of those 17 was bought by Harold Carr, who parked it in a lockup garage in 1960. In 2008, after Carr’s death, his nephew discovered the car when clearing his uncle’s possessions; it had been there, untouched, for over forty years. It later went to auction and sold for almost three million pounds. Alongside the Bugatti, there was also a classic Aston Martin and a Jaguar E-type.
The Declaration of Independence – American Stan Caffy had a copy of the Declaration of Independence on his garage wall, until his wife persuaded him to donate it to a thrift store alongside other unwanted items in 2006, where it was bought for $2.48. The lucky purchaser, Michael Sparks, discovered that it was one of 200 official copies of the Declaration, commissioned by John Quincy Adams in 1820, and after a year’s conservation and authentication it went to auction for $477,650.
Gold Bars and Coins – Again in America, an Arizona recluse passed away with no will, no close relatives and only $200 in his bank account; but when the house clearers moved in they found a big surprise. Stored within boxes in both the house and garage, they found gold bars and coins which were valued at $7 million based on weight alone – and since many of the coins appeared to be collectors’ items, the real value could far exceed that.
Whatever you want to store, here at Lock Up Garages we are experts in garage rental, so we can provide you with all the space you need at affordable prices.