There’s a lot of truth to the saying “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Thrift stores are often full of bargain purchases and one-of-a-kind masterpieces, but boy do they ever take work to unearth! Whether you’re looking for a new dutch oven or a matching set of dining room chairs, thrift stores are a great place to look. When it comes to furniture, there sure have been some bizarre and valuable items that come along with grandma’s chesterfield!

wright chair and desk

Here are a few stories from around the world to inspire you on your next thrift store adventure!

It’s Time to Buy a New Couch

In Germany, a student bought a seemingly run of the mill pullout couch for $215. While they likely paid too much for the couch, the painting they found inside was later sold for $27,630 at a Hamburg art auction. As it turns out, it was a 10 by 15 inch oil painting, named “Preparation to Escape to Egypt,” which was done by an unknown artist close to the Venetian painter Carlo Saraceni who was active in the early 1600s. Talk about a return on your investment!

In another epic couch treasure hunt, New York roommates Lara Russo, Cally Guasti, and Reese Werkhoven found $41, 800 in US cash bubble wrapped inside a cushion of their $55 couch. Along with the cash were a bank deposit slip and the name of a woman. The next day, Werkhoven called the woman whose name was on the deposit slip. The woman tearfully explained that her family had donated the couch to a thrift shop while she was in the hospital. The trio returned the cash that same day.

Check Behind the Curtains

Cash seems to be one of the most common things accidentally found at thrift shops around the world. Coat pockets of deceased loved ones, to your thousands of dollars tucked between the pages of old books, it seems that we aren’t very thorough when it comes to making thrift shop donations! Earlier this year, a Value Village in Halifax received quite the donation! A pair of drapes were dropped off that contained thousands of dollars. According to the Halifax Regional Police who were called in right away, the money was withdrawn in 2006 from a Guysborough County Bank.

Reading Between the Lines

While it’s not quite furniture, books make up a huge portion of thrift store donations. And they certainly come along with their fair share of treasures. A thrift shop in New Mexico once received an entire estate worth of books. One of the books in a collection received after the passing of an elderly local woman was a microwave cookbook. One lucky shopper bought the book only to discover forty $1000 US bills tucked between the pages. The $1000 bills which haven’t been printed since 1934 are significantly more valuable than the $40,000 face value. Unlike the NYC roommates, this shopper pocketed the money, instead of sharing it with the thrift shop.

Have fun on your next thrift shop outing and keep your eyes peeled for treasure!

If your couch or any other fabric related furniture that you’ve purchased from a thrift store need some deep cleaning before use, contact us and our team of professionals will be ready to help you.


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