Did you hear about the construction worker in Beverly Hills, Calif., who paid $45 for a box of old glass photographic negatives at a garage sale and finding out later they're worth millions?
Turns out the glass negatives were the lost work of famed nature photographer Ansel Adams, which were believed to have been destroyed in a 1937 fire at his Yosemite National Park Studio.
Adams was best known for his striking black-and-white photographs, mainly landscapes, of the American West. He died in 1984 at 82.
Just never know what you might find at garage sales and yard sales.
Letters from readers
Question: I have an old (1924 or after) Owl Drug Store owl lamp. Have you ever seen one or know where I can get any information on it? It belongs to my 86-year-old mother. - K.D., Marietta.
Answer: Can you send me a photo of the lamp, including its size, and how your mother obtained the lamp? Owl Drug Store was founded in 1892 in San Francisco. The store continued to branch out until it became nationwide with stores in over a dozen states. The Rexall Drug Company bought out the Owl Drug Store chain in the 1930s. All sorts of glass bottles, soda bottles, pill bottles, medicine bottles with the name Owl Drug Store are highly collectible today. Readers, you remember of an Owl Drug Store ever being in Marietta? If so, write me.
Q.: I have two old books by Henry W. Longfellow. One is titled, "Courtship of Miles Standish," and the other is, "Evangeline." Can you tell me if they are worth anything? - L.S., Marietta.
A.: If you Google these two titles on Amazon, you will find that these two titles have been printed and re-printed. I need the ISBN numbers from the front of the book to be able to identify what you have.
Q.: I have four wooden chairs made by A.H. Closterman Furniture Company of Cincinnati. The chairs are in excellent condition. Can you tell me what they're worth? - G.R., Lowell.
A.: A.H Closterman Furniture Company of Cincinnati was established in 1843. The company made chairs, parlor furniture, beds, desks and other furniture. The factory was destroyed by fire in 1881. Closterman died in 1918 at the age of 96. His obituary in a Cincinnati newspaper I came across mentioned he was a very wealthy man, but couldn't read or write, and his will was marked with an X. His chairs today sell for about $100 each at Garths and other auction houses around Ohio.
Readers, when writing, please give a complete description of your item. I can't answer your questions unless I have size, color, and complete description of your item. When sending e-mails, please tell me where you're writing from.
Happy treasure hunting.
Larry Koon is the author of several price guide books on antiques and collectibles. His column appears every Monday on Life. Send letters to Treasure in the Attic, c/o The Marietta Times, 700 Channel Lane, Marietta 45750; or e-mail him at email@example.com. When writing, send a complete description of the item, along with size, color, any markings on the item along with condition the item is in, and how the item was obtained, and any other information. If possible, send a photograph. Letters will be answered through this column.