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Never Pass Up a Garage Sale, You Just Might Regret It

by mhofstatter   November 04, 2010 at 3:30PM  |  Views: 1,561

You've heard the expression that someone's trash is someone else's treasure. Bet you've never realized to what extent this is true. Spike TV's upcoming new unscripted series Auction Hunters will help you figure out which is which.

Source: Redfern/Redferns/Getty Images

Premiering Tuesday, November 9 at 10PM/9C with back-to-back episodes, after an all-new 1000 Ways to Die at its new 9:30P/8:30C time, co-hosts Ton and Allen shuttle from auction to auction using their brains locate the best finds and the ones that will net them the most cash.  Check out these great yard sale discoveries, and maybe this weekend you'll think twice before passing up that cheap buy.


Marilyn Monroe "Smokes Pot"

Source: Baron/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Now let it be said that no one here is making the assertion that Marilyn Monroe ever smoked marijuana, but collector Keya Morgan does and he says that he has it on film.  At the end of last year, Morgan purchased a reel-to-reel silent film that was taken at a private home in New Jersey.  The color film purportedly shows the whisper-voiced starlet inhaling some of that wacky tobacky.  The reel-to-reel, which was part of a private archive that had been shuttled from house to house, was finally uncovered by Morgan where it sat in an attic for three years with its contents not yet known.  Morgan eventually threw down $275,000 for the footage.  The person who originally made the short asserts that what Monroe is seen smoking is in fact a cigarette that was filled with marijuana.  Monroe takes a quick puff in the short film before passing it along. Props to Marilyn for adhering the to appropriate "puff, puff, pass" ideology.  


Nuns Find Rare Baseball Card

Source: Hondros/Getty Images Sport

Who's to say that nuns aren't fun?  Sister Virgina Muller of Baltimore came across the rarest of the rare in early October when she and the rest of her order at the School Sisters of Notre Dame uncovered a T206 Honus Wagner baseball card that was produced between the years 1909 and 1911.  The legendary shortstop's ball card has been fetching amazing sums of money over the years as they became harder and harder to find, with only sixty such cards believed to exist.  The brother of one of the nuns who died in 1999 left all his possessions to the order when he died earlier this year.  The lawyer for the man told the nun that the card existed in a safety-deposit box.  Upon opening the box there was the card, along with a note that read, "Although damaged, the value of this baseball card should increase exponentially throughout the 21st century!"  The dead guy was right, and despite a big crease in the upper right-hand corner, the card is expected to fetch upwards of $200,000.  All this for a piece of cardboard with a guy's picture on it.

Honus Wagner fun fact: He retired with a .328 batting average over 21 seasons and was one of the five original inductees into baseball's Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.  Another fun fact: no one else in the world is named Honus.

Note:  This last fact has not actually been verified.


Picasso Wastes Away at Yard Sale

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For every positive story of someone buying something highly valuable for a low sum of cash at a yard sale, there is always going to be a tale of caution when some poor schnook doesn't know what they have on their hands and they sell it off to the first yahoo to come along.  This is what happened to a Shreveport, Louisiana woman who was trying to do the "right" thing and sell off some items for the relatives of a neighbor who recently passed away.  Many of the items belonging to the elderly neighbor, an avid art collector, were to be sold at an estate sale, but when the relatives didn't want to take the remaining items home with them they gave them to the woman.  It was at that point she saw the name "Picasso" scribbled on a painting that was cheaply framed.  She asked the relatives about the painting and they said, "don't worry, it's a fake."  Well done, relatives.  It was then sold at the yard sale for the stately sum of: $2.00.  Though the painting's authenticity is still being verified, it is very much believed to be the genuine article and is understandably worth millions.  Finders keepers, losers weepers.


Even a Beatles Poster Can Make You Rich

Source: Redfern/Redferns/Getty Images

The Beatles were a worldwide phenomenon.  Don't believe us, well, check out what happened in Adelaide, Australia where a recent sale fetched approximately $14,000 for a rare concert poster for the Fab Four.  Found at a local garage sale, and sold for what was described as a "pittance," the poster is being labeled as the sole surviving artwork from what was the Beatles first tour of the land down under in 1964.  The 52 x 61 inch poster is a remnant of the four-city tour that was almost only three until a petition was thrown down.  At the time, local radio DJ, Bob Francis used the airwaves to collect 80,000 signatures and sent them along to a Melbourne promoter who finally was convinced of Adelaide's necessity on the tour.  Had this not occurred, this rare gem and evidence of the Beatles' place in Australian history would be lost.  Of course, it's nice to make $14K while preserving history.  Who says you can't have your Beatles cake and eat it too?


Superman Really Saves the Day

Source: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Earlier this summer, one Southern family was dire straits.  Unable to make payments on their house, the cash-strapped family began the sad process of loading up boxes and cleaning out the basement and attic in preparation of leaving the home they loved and began to raise a family.  Low and behold, look who actually came to save the day: Superman, but this time in the form of the June 1938, Action Comics issue #1.  As the anonymous couple began to shift boxes around in their basement they uncovered eight or nine vintage comic books.  Most of the books were valued at $6-12 a piece, but there was one amongst the many that stood out, and that extremely rare origin story for the Man of Steel is said to be valued at $250,000.  Given a 5-pt. rating, the value pales in comparison to other Superman issues, which have gone for well over a million dollars, but the six-figure sum was more than enough to save the house.  Wonder if Aquaman can do that?

For more rare finds and exciting auction hunting adventures, tune in Tuesday, November 9 at 10PM/9C for the back-to-back series premiere of Spike TV's Auction Hunters following an all-new episode of 1000 Ways to Die at it's new time, 9:30P/8:30C.