September 17th, 2014

Pros BD table

Real-life treasure trove

My sister bought her current house in June 2012 and rented it out until she moved in herself in January this year. There was a sad story behind the vendors; they had both moved here from Germany many years ago, and were both deteriorating with Alzheimer's Disease. The wife was worse than the husband; in her mind she was a little girl again, she lost her grasp of English and didn't recognise her husband or grown children any more. She ended up having to go back to Germany, to what remained of her family there, while her husband moved in with their son in Melbourne.

The house was full of interesting little quirks; plastic flowers glued to the windowsills, lace flowers stitched onto the fly screens, hand-painted Sturts Desert Pea over the kitchen walls, while the garden was swarming with gnomes and assorted tiny animal statues. It really was quite uniquely decorated.

So none of us were really surprised when I found a "hidden" kitchen cupboard, a few weeks ago. I was sitting at the breakfast bar and had hooked my feet under the bottom edge, when suddenly it came loose and swung away from the cabinet - and yes, there was a cupboard in behind it, with no handle or anything, no indication from the outside that this panel,which sat flush with the cabinet, was in fact a door. We had a brief glance inside, laughed at ourselves not noticing it before, and thought nothing of it.

Until today, when D decided to rearrange her kitchen cupboards and make use of that extra space. When she opened the door right up she found a heap of boxes tucked out of view of a casual glance - and the contents of those boxes has her stunned. Jewelry; real stuff, not fake, with pearl necklaces and ruby rings and gold chains, all in their original old jeweller's boxes. Amazing stuff, in antique-looking settings, and it's been tucked in there all that time.

We're thinking it had to belong to the previous owners, and not the tenants that lived there for a year or so; the cupboard was so well-hidden, and the jewellery so old-looking that surely it belonged to the old couple. D is now trying to track them down through the real estate agent who arranged her purchase, so that she can return it to the rightful owner. But what a find!