67-year-old buys 125-year-old chest in sale: Hears rattling noise and discovers the incredible

Retired marketing director Emil Knodell has always been fascinated by antiques.

So when he heard there was going to be a sale of things from a nearby estate, where the owner had passed away, he decided to pay a visit to see if he could find anything of value.

When he got there, there was one piece of furniture that immediately commanded his attention. A beautiful, 18th-century chest of drawers with a marble top that would fit perfectly in his dining room…

He figured the piece to be a real bargain, particularly since he managed to buy it for just $100.

“Because it has a nice marble top, I hope to use it in my dining room,” Knodell, 67, told ABC News.

But when it came time for Emil and Jeff Allen, who works for Premiere Estate Sales Network, to load the chest into a vehicle to be taken home, they heard a strange rattling noise.


True treasure

It transpired that the chest held a hidden compartment, one that contained real treasure.

“There were rings, diamonds, gold and all kinds of stuff. It was a real adrenaline rush. Both of us were in shock for a second,” Allen said.

Secret compartment

However, there was no discussion on the matter; the two gentlemen decided instantly to return the valuables.

As Emil explains: “I bought the chest drawers. I didn’t buy those things. If I kept them, I would never feel right about it. There would be a cloud over the whole thing. It’s a feeling more than anything else.

“I’m an old ex-Marine and I try to do the right thing.”


The pair managed to get hold of the rightful owner of the treasure, the son of the man who had passed, and so returned the haul to him.

The son could clearly recall the chest from his childhood, though had no idea about the secret compartment.

What a great story!

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