Man buys locked trunk, finds two Civil War pistols
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  1. #1
    Dec 2004
    Long Island New York
    White's XLT
    25 times

    Man buys locked trunk, finds two Civil War pistols

    Offer in thousands comes from collector; were Texas Ranger's
    Thursday, December 06, 2007By MIKE MARSHALLTimes Staff Writer
    FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. - It took two days, a 40-mile drive and about 20 seconds of drilling for Dave Shade to open the trunk.

    But as soon as he opened it, he knew he'd found the treasure he'd been hoping for when he made the starting bids at the estate sale on the morning of Oct. 7, 2006.

    In the right tray of the trunk, partially hidden by some clothing, were two pistols.

    Immediately, he saw some initials engraved just above the handle of one of the guns: "T.R.''

    At first, Shade thought he had found two guns with a connection to Teddy Roosevelt and the Spanish-American War.

    Bit by bit, though, Shade discovered more clues and pieced together the tale of the guns.

    Soon, the story circulated among collectors: Both pistols were used by a cavalryman during the Civil War.

    A collector in Texas has already offered him $50,000 for the guns. Another has estimated the guns' worth at about $75,000.

    Shade wonders if they're worth more than that.

    "How does this happen in Lincoln County, Tenn., or anywhere else?'' Shade said. "The lesson here is to buy as many locked trunks as you can.''


  2. #2

    Feb 2006
    Deep in the Ozark Mountains
    Fisher CZ3D, Whites TM 808, Sharptronics DSP-03
    69 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Man buys locked trunk, finds two Civil War pistols

    I enjoy going to auctions. I used to buy boxes of assorted items that were thrown together hoping to find that golden egg. Still looking.....Steve

  3. #3

    Dec 2005
    Jolly Corner FL
    6 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Man buys locked trunk, finds two Civil War pistols

    This is interesting, thanks. A good example of treasure in unconventional places. I find it surprising, though, that more auction houses do not employ metal detectors in cases like this, or even xrays. Some boxes are metal lined I'm sure, but I do recall some examples of metal detecting/xrays being used in cases like this involving cached records, time capsules, locked boxes. Any thoughts?


  4. #4

    Sep 2006
    White's M6 & Prizm III
    32 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    Honorable Mentions (4)

    Re: Man buys locked trunk, finds two Civil War pistols

    Great story and a sweet find for that guy!! I can;t understand why anyone would not want to open a locked trunk and see what is inside, never mind auctioning it without knowing what is in it. To me a locked trunk or box is me , open me... His gain and the sellers loss I guess.
    So many promising sites to little time....

  5. #5
    Mar 2008
    St. Joseph, Missouri
    White's 6000/Di PRO sl and Classic III
    1 times
    Metal Detecting

    Re: Man buys locked trunk, finds two Civil War pistols

    I heard about somebody buying a desk with one of the drawers locked at an auction once and when they got home and got it opened, there was a twenty dollar gold piece in it.

  6. #6

    Mar 2003
    All types of BFOs owned. Especially want White's Arrow; White's Oremaster; Exanimo Spartan Little Monster; Garrett contract Little Monster.
    63 times

    Re: Man buys locked trunk, finds two Civil War pistols

    Auction houses play the averages. Storage bins do the same. People's hopes and dreams force the bidding up on untouched and unsearched lots. If you sell them all that way you will make more money over time than cherry picking the great items and eating the others. That said you will occasionally find a dealer or auction house that searches everything and researches everything and then lies and claims the loser lots are unsearched. If an auctioneeer spends several thousand hours looking to find one $30,000 item they have averaged less than minimum wage. Some may not even do that well. Some would say that a great item like that is once in a lifetime.
    Personally i check and research everything i find and drag home before selling it. The only things i don't research are things that I keep for myself or that I keep to use. siegfried schlagrule
    "We have done so much; for so many; for so long; with so little; that pretty soon we'll be able to do anything; with nothing at all."
    my unit motto - 138th Aviation Company -  224th Aviation Battalion - Phu Bai, I Corps, Republic of Vietnam - 1972
    Siegfried Schlagrule



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