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Picking Reminder: Leave no tin unopened

Pook & Pook Inc.'s recent discovery of treasures in an old worn-out tin is a good reminder to never leave a tin unopened - sometimes it's what's on the inside that really counts.

What's in your attic? That's the question Pook & Pook, Inc. asks after reporting a pretty remarkable find recently. See for yourself...

Few Surprises Until The Tin

Every year our crew of appraisers and movers go in and out of hundreds of houses. We’ve cleaned

$150,000 in a tin

Some of the $150,000 found in the old tin. (Photo courtesy Pook & Pook)

out houses filled with cats. Been met by consignors in the buff. We even cataloged the contents of one house where the body still had not been found. After decades in the business, very little surprises us…until a couple days ago.

A few weeks back our movers were out at a little non-descript home in Berks County to pack up a few boxes of material for one of our upcoming Online Only Decorative Arts auctions (Oct. 9-10). This wasn’t some lavish estate flush with period antiques and art. It was just a house. While there, one of our appraisers, James Pook, noticed a tin in the attic he thought looked kind of unusual, so he threw it on our truck right before they left. Once back at the gallery, the movers unpacked the truck, inventoried everything, and left.

Trusted Instincts Prove Sound

A week or so later, James was cataloging the material from that pick-up. Now out of the attic, he noticed that tin he had grabbed wasn’t in great condition, and not really worth anything. He also noticed, however, that the container felt heavier than it should so he popped the top to peek inside. There he found a bunch of moldy old yarn. He started to close the tin back up with the intention of just tossing it when something made him pause. He opened it back up and pulled out the yarn. Under the layer of old thread, the rest of the tin was filled with silver certificates and silver dollars, dozens of bundles of pristine bills. The entire staff made guesses at the value – some said $20,000, some guessed as high as $100,000.

Rescued Tin Boasts $150,000 Return

The heir to the estate was immediately called and we set up a time to drop off our find. Shortly after we returned the cash, the happy consignor called to thank us and to report that the total was over $150,000.

For more information about what Pook & Pook, Inc. is up to, services it provides, and its auction schedule, visit

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