20 Amazing Things Found at Yard Sales

George Rose/Getty Images Entertainment
George Rose/Getty Images Entertainment

From an actual copy of the Declaration of Independence to a brooch that once may have belonged to Russian royalty, these items might make you think twice about driving past a yard sale again. In this article, which was adapted from The List Show on YouTube, we explore 20 pretty amazing yard sale finds.

1. A Photo of Billy the Kid

A photograph of Billy the Kid.
Wikimedia//Public Domain

A potentially valuable photo of Billy the Kid was once bought at a flea market for $10. In 2011, Frank Abrams of North Carolina picked up the picture, which featured five men in wild west gear, because he thought it looked interesting and odd. He hung it up in the spare bedroom he rented out on Airbnb. Later, while watching a documentary about the outlaw Billy the Kid, Abrams decided to take a second look at the men in his photograph. He identified one of them as a known associate, and later adversary, of Billy the Kid—and believed that another man in the photo was the Kid himself. While not everyone agrees that the photo is of the Kid, other pictures of the outlaw have been valued at millions of dollars. So Abrams decided to move his photo from the spare bedroom into a safety deposit box.

2. Unpublished Photos of Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield

Marilyn Monroe circa 1952.
Keystone Features/Getty Images

In 1980, Anton Fury of New Jersey bought an envelope of photo negatives for $2 at a garage sale. When he took a closer look, he realized he’d bought around 30 unpublished photos of Marilyn Monroe as well as 70 of actress Jayne Mansfield. Not much has been heard about the photos since, so it’s unclear if Fury cashed in on his find.

3. Photographs Supposedly by Ansel Adams

Rick Norsigian bought a couple boxes of glass negatives at a garage sale in Fresno, California, for $45. He stashed them under his pool table for a couple of years. When he finally pulled them out, he noticed a similarity between the snaps of Yosemite and San Francisco, California, and Ansel Adams’s photographs. Norsigian gathered a team of experts, who declared the negatives to be the work of the famous photographer and worth $200 million. One expert, however, later changed his mind and said the photos were actually taken by lesser-known photographer named Earl Brooks.

The debate over who took the photos rages on, but at least one thing has been settled legally: Norsigian was allowed to sell the prints, but he had to give them a disclaimer, and was not allowed to use the Adams name.

4. A Supposedly Original Andy Warhol Sketch

The American artist and filmmaker Andy Warhol with his paintings(1928 - 1987), December 15, 1980
Susan Greenwood, Liaison Agency/Getty Images

A man once claimed he bought an original Andy Warhol sketch at a garage sale in Las Vegas for $5. The piece depicted singer Rudy Vallee and it was thought that Warhol drew it when he was about 10 years old. The Royal West of England Academy in Bristol put it on display in 2012.

A Warhol piece like that would be worth millions—but art experts and Warhol’s family aren’t convinced that it’s authentic. Warhol’s brother noted, “It had no characteristics of his drawing style whatsoever and the signature was vastly unlike his real signature.”

5. A Velvet Underground Demo

A portrait of the band Velvet Underground.
Photographer unknown, Published by Verve Records, at that time a subsidiary of MGM Records, Wikimedia//Public domain

Andy Warhol managed The Velvet Underground in 1966 when they recorded a demo to send to labels. In the early 2000s, record collector Warren Hill came across one such demo at a Manhattan street sale and bought it for $0.75 cents. The record contains six tracks that eventually appeared on the album "The Velvet Underground and Nico," while three went unreleased. Hill sold the demo for about $25,000.

6. A Custom Bike Built for Tour de France winner Floyd Landis

Floyd Landis at the Tour de France.
Bryn Lennon//Getty Images Sport

In 2008, a custom bicycle built for Tour de France winner Floyd Landiswho was stripped of his title in 2007—was carried off a truck by wind. The bike was worth about $8000, unbeknownst to the person who found, then sold, it at his garage sale. They thought it looked like a bike with flat tires and broken pedals (which were actually just clip-in pedals). So Greg Estes was able to buy it for $5. He later discovered its worth and once even jokingly attempted to sell it for $6000 at his own yard sale. But the owners actually wanted the bike back, so he probably didn’t get that much cash for it.

7. A table built by furniture maker John Seymour and Son

A crowd on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC
iStock.com/JannHuizenga

At some point in the 1960s, Claire Wiegand-Beckmann saw a moldy table at a garage sale that she thought would be perfect for her new house. The asking price was $30, but she only had $25 on her, and she got the table. Thirty years later she brought it on Antiques Roadshow, where it was identified as being one of six made by Boston furniture maker John Seymour and Son, whose pieces you can also see at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It would sell at auction for $541,500.

8. A Painting Called “Preparation to Escape to Egypt”

The painting "Preparation to Escape Egypt."
Photo courtesy of Ketterer Kunst GmbH & Co.

In 2007, a student bought a pullout couch for $215 at a flea market in Berlin. Inside it, there was an Italian painting from the early 17th century, titled “Preparation to Escape to Egypt.” The artist couldn’t be determined, but that didn’t matter: The painting was auctioned off for $27,630.

9. A Painting by Francois Quesnel

The outside of the Louvre in Paris, France
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Similarly, a professor bought a 16th-century oil painting at a garage sale in Indiana in the late 1980s. It caught his eye because the subject looked like a character in a show he liked, which was the British sitcom Are You Being Served? He kept it in storage until 2011 when an appraiser estimated that it might be worth up to $6000. The appraiser believed it could be the work of Francois Quesnel, who worked for the de Medici family and has a portrait hanging in the Louvre.

10. A Portrait by Anthony Van Dyck

A painting by Anony Van Dyck.
Anthony van Dyck, Wikimedia//CC BY-SA 3.0

A Catholic priest once purchased a gold frame at an antique shop for £400 (about $498). But it was the portrait inside the frame that ended up being the true find. It was by Anthony Van Dyck, a famous 17th century painter who worked under King Charles I. According to experts, this particular painting was likely a sketch leading up to him creating his more famous work The Magistrates of Brussels, which was sadly destroyed by the French at the end of the 17th century.

11. The Art Boards For the First Avengers Comic Book

Chris Evans, Elizabeth Olsen, Jeremy Renner, Paul Rudd, Anthony Mackie, and Sebastian Stan in Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Marvel Studios

A family in Texas once unknowingly bought art boards for the first Avengers comic book because their 12-year-old daughter spotted them as something she’d like to color. They were worth about $48,000, but they had been reported missing, so the family returned them.

12. A Piece of Pottery From the Northern Song Dynasty

A rare bowl.
Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s New York

In 2013, a bowl bought at a garage sale for $3 that had been sitting in a New York living room sold for $2.2 million at an auction. It turned out the family had bought an 11th century piece of pottery from the Northern Song Dynasty and plopped it on their mantle for a few years.

13. An Authentic Bronze Egyptian Cat Statue

Hieroglyphics from ancient Egypt.
Mohamed El-Shahed /AFP/Getty Images

A bronze Egyptian cat from around 700 to 500 BCE was picked up at a house clearance and eventually sold for £52,000 (about $64,676) in 2015. The owners of the bronze cat were on the cusp throwing the object away, but thankfully did not. Then an expert from the British Museum verified it as authentic.

14. A Brooch That May Have Belonged to Russian Royalty

A yard sale.
Stephen Digges/Getty Images

In 2011, Thea Jourdan wrote an article about her yard sale find. She spent about £20 (about $25) on a brooch at an antique shop. Her daughter often wore it while playing dress up. But when Jourdan had her engagement ring looked at by a jeweler for insurance purposes, the jeweler noticed the brooch. It had potentially belonged to Russian royalty in the 19th century, and it sold for £32,450 ($40,360).

15. Vince Lombardi’s Sweater

The Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi.
U.S. Military Academy/Getty Images Sport

Vince Lombardi is arguably football royalty: He won two Super Bowls coaching the Green Bay Packers. And while watching a documentary about Lombardi in 2014, Sean McEvoy of Tennessee noticed a sweater that looked familiar. He had bought Lombardi’s sweater at Goodwill for $0.58 earlier in the year. It ended up selling for $43,020.

16. An Augusta National Green Jacket

Adam Scott giving  Bubba Watson the green jacket
Andrew Redington/Getty Images Sport

Another rare item of clothing in the world of sports is the Augusta National green jacket, which is given to the winner of the Masters Tournament in golf. Members of the Augusta National club get jackets too, but only the Masters Champion can wear their jacket outside the club, but only for one year. Then, in 1994, a golf fan found one at a thrift shop in Toronto that the club did verify was real. In 2017, it sold at an auction for about $139,000. No word on whether the buyer is allowed to wear it, though.

17. A Watch From the James Bond Film Thunderball

A watch from the James Bond film 'Thunderball.'
Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images News

In 2013, a watch from the James Bond movie Thunderball sold for £103,875 (about $129,197). It had been purchased for £25 (about $31) at a car boot sale, which is basically a British flea market involving car trunks. It was a one-of-a-kind piece, created for the film.

18. A 1991 Nintendo Campus Challenge Cartridge

A 1991 Nintendo Campus Challenge cartridge.

Jjhendricks at English Wikipedia, Wikimedia//CC BY-SA 3.0

In 2006, Rob Walters went to a garage sale and bought a 1991 Nintendo Campus Challenge cartridge. This was a cartridge specifically created for Nintendo competitions, and it contained three games: Super Mario Bros. 3, PinBot, and Dr. Mario. It should have been destroyed in 1991 but for some reason, it wasn’t. Walters eventually sold it for $14,000.

19. The Declaration of Independence

A copy of the Declaration of Independence.
Original: Second Continental Congress; reproduction: William Stone, Wikimedia//Public domain

In 1989, a man bought a torn painting of a countryside for its frame at a flea market in Pennsylvania for $4. He discarded the picture and found a folded up Declaration of Independence—which was one of an estimated 200 original copies from 1776. Of those originals, only 26 remain. In 1991, the man sold his historic find for $2.42 million.

20. Another Copy of the Declaration of Independence

Members of the Second Continental Congress prepare documentation for the Declaration of Independence
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

In 2007, a copy of the Declaration from the 1820s sold for almost half a million dollars after a man bought it at a Tennessee thrift shop for about $2.50. He’d happened upon one of the 200 copies commissioned by John Quincy Adams.

Blue Apron’s Memorial Day Sale Will Save You $60 On Your First Three Boxes

Scott Eisen/Getty Images
Scott Eisen/Getty Images

If you’ve gone through all the recipes you had bookmarked on your phone and are now on a first-name basis with the folks at the local pizzeria, it might be time to introduce a new wrinkle into your weekly dinner menu. But instead of buying loads of groceries and cookbooks to make your own meal, you can just subscribe to a service like Blue Apron, which will deliver all the ingredients and instructions you need for a unique dinner.

And if you start your subscription before May 26, you can save $20 on each of your first three weekly boxes from the company. That means that whatever plan you choose—two or four meals a week, vegetarian or the Signature plan—you’ll save $60 in total.

With the company’s Signature plan, you’ll get your choice of meat, fish, and Beyond foods, along with options for diabetes-friendly and Weight Watchers-approved dishes. The vegetarian plan loses the meat, but still allows you to choose from a variety of dishes like General Tso's tofu and black bean flautas.

To get your $60 off, head to the Blue Apron website and click “Redeem Offer” at the top of the page to sign up.

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The World's 10 Richest Cities

New York City.
New York City.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

When a city has vibrant culture, a booming economy, and appealing real estate, it attracts a lot of high-profile residents. To see which world-class cities have the largest populations of wealthy individuals, check out this list of the richest cities in the world.

As CNBC reports, the United States is home to several wealthy cities, accounting for six of the urban centers in the top 10. New York takes the top slot, with 120,605 of the people living there boasting a net worth of $5 million or more. That's more than 4 percent of the global wealth population.

It's followed by Tokyo, where 81,645 residents have a net worth totaling at least $5 million. Hong Kong ranks third with 73,430 wealthy citizens. Other U.S. cities on the list include Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Dallas. The other two cities in the top 10—London and Paris—are Europe's only representation.

The information used to compile the list comes from the data firm Wealth-X, which looked at global wealth statistics from the past decade. Cities that attract wealthy residents tend to have a high cost of living, but the richest cities in the world aren't always the most expensive to live in. After reading the list below, compare it to the 10 most expensive cities in the world.

  1. New York City, U.S.
  1. Tokyo, Japan
  1. Hong Kong
  1. Los Angeles, U.S.
  1. London, UK
  1. Paris, France
  1. Chicago, U.S.
  1. San Francisco, U.S.
  1. Washington, D.C., U.S.
  1. Dallas, U.S.

[h/t CNBC]