When antique shop owner Alexander Archbold spent $10,000 for the contents of a house owned by a casual acquaintance of his in Edmonton, Canada, he thought he was taking a risk. He knew Bette-Joan Rac was unique — well-traveled music teacher who was always draped in designer clothes and jewelry — and that her house was crammed floor to ceiling with boxes, clothes, magazines and what looked to be junk. In a best-case scenario, he expected to break even by selling Rac’s grand piano and a few other trinkets.
What Archbold found was a treasure trove of silver bars, vintage designer clothing, quality jewelry and art. He’s already made $250,000 in one of three planned auctions by Edmonton’s Kastner Auctions. “We were emptying out some leaflets in the front room and some little silver bars fell out. They were hidden among the magazines and garbage,” he told an Edmonton reporter. Further searches revealed plastic bags and shoes filled with gold jewelry, a 100-ounce bar of silver hidden under a mattress and vintage designer clothing stacked ceiling high in some rooms.
Archbold estimates that the total contents of Rac’s home could be worth about $400,000.
He plans on using his unexpected windfall to realize his dream of opening a café beside his shop. The grand piano will hold a place of honor in that café.