Mystery Box…Opened!

Beautiful summer mornings seem made for estate liquidation sales, so I pulled myself together and got to the house at 8:35 for a 9:00 a.m. opening. It was already crowded and I was #25 on the list. Not too good, but que sera sera. I passed the time talking with an elderly woman and her daughter and a young grad student and just enjoyed the sunshine, camaraderie and excitement that buzzed around me.

As it turns out, #25 was a good number because I was the last person in the first group allowed in. Being in the first group is always a good thing! By the time they opened the doors, there were 20 folks behind me.

The truth is liquidation sales contain a lot of flotsam and jetsam. You’ll find tons of old clothes, shoes, towels, spices, beat-up cookware, remotes, etc. The best stuff has been taken by the family. But in the master bedroom I hit the jackpot with a few nice pieces of jewelry, but the most intriguing thing was a small Japanese puzzle box. The piece to open the box was stuck preventing the box from opening, but the box was heavy and rattled. Maybe coins. Maybe RARE coins! Or maybe it’s just his penny collection.

I almost set the box down and then thought, “Don’t be stupid. Buy the box. It’s worth the gamble!”

So I did, for less than $10. At home I realized there was no way to open the box without ruining it, but it wasn’t much of a box, so I got out a screwdriver and prised it open…and…and it was MONEY!

Okay, mostly foreign money, except for a one dollar bill (which I’ve just discovered that as a Series 1957 A Silver Certificate is worth more than $1!) and an Indian nickel, but still kinda cool. I’ll give the UK coins to my husband who’s heading over to England in a few weeks.

But it was worth the gamble, because amidst the money and a few keys was a big, beautiful turquoise and silver belt buckle.

I think this is the real deal. It’s signed “DS” on the back and is fairly tarnished. So far I’ve ruled out that it was made by Indian silversmiths Dan Simplicio or Dorothy Secatero, but it could be Danny Sandoval. Maybe. Well, I’ll have it checked out.

Glad I took the risk…I don’t often do that!

How about you? Ever take a risk on an item??


  1. I do! I love to take a gamble on locked cases, or stuck drawers. My last surprise was a set of 1960’s baseball cards.


    1. Karen, ooooh…that sounds like it was a good gamble!! – Karen


  2. We love auctions and gamble on what we call “mystery boxes,” We buy them (usually inexpensive) and sift through them when we get home. A lot of it is junk but we have found some cool stuff including beautiful glassware and figurines. There’s been so much, I can’t remember it all! I love this business 🙂


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