Britain's wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill was known for his iconic top hat and cigar – so a refuse worker couldn’t believe it when he found both items in the trash. He showed them on the UK version of TV show Antiques Roadshow in March 2019.
Though knowledgeable about antiques, Warren couldn't identify the artist and assumed the piece was pretty much worthless. It was stashed away and forgotten about until late 2018 when Warren made a beeline for the Antiques Roadshow TV show, which was shooting in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Warren was astonished to discover the etching is a 1951 work by legendary Chinese-French artist Zao Wou-Ki. The retired antiques dealer said she would use the proceeds from the etching sale to treat her mother to a new kitchen.
DiMola was paid $4,500 (£3.45k) to clear out the space, which belonged to the late abstract artist Clinton Hill. The 2,500-year-old artefacts had been stored away in the barrel by mistake and labelled as garbage. DiMola moved the barrel to a warehouse, where it remained undisturbed for five years. In 2009, DiMola decided to get rid of the barrel but, fortunately for him, he opened it and discovered the hidden haul of ancient figurines, bowls and jugs. Given DiMola was authorised to dispose of the barrel, he got to keep the artefacts, which were valued at $16,500 (£12.7k).
Another US Antiques Roadshow gem, this exquisite violin by renowned Italian maker Giuseppe Pedrazzini was the star of the season 17 premiere, which was filmed in Corpus Christi, Texas and aired in 2013.
The signature scrawled on the back of the canvas proved it was a Bowie original, and it has since been authenticated by a Bowie autograph collector. The painting is number 46 of a 47-piece series by the singer called Dead Heads. The painting is now being auctioned online until Thursday. It was given a modest estimate of between CA$9,000 and CA$12,000 ($7.1k-$9.5k/£5.1k-£6.8k), but bidding eventually settled at CA$108,000 ($88k/£63k).
After finding the paintings on the A7 south of Wuerzburg in Bavaria, the driver handed the artwork to authorities in Cologne and further investigation has revealed that they are original works by Italian painter Pietro Bellotti (previous entry) and Dutch artist Samuel van Hoogstraten (pictured). Both 350-year-old artworks are believed to be valuable, with a Hoogstraten painting that depicts a shepherdess having sold for £50,062 ($70k) at British auction house Bonhams in 2019. Police are appealing for information as to who owns the artwork and how it arrived on the roadside, but their sudden appearance remains a mystery for now…
In June 2010, a San Diego woman bowled over the Antiques Roadshow textiles specialist when she brought along this old rug for appraisal. Several years prior, a neighbour was having a clearout and had dumped a sofa on the street, and the woman's daughter had just moved into a new place and was in need of a couch. Not forgetting her manners, she asked for permission to take the sofa and the homeowner duly obliged, and mentioned he'd also put some rugs in the trash she might like.
Due to South Korea's 'Finder Keepers' law, it was initially thought that the cleaner could be granted ownership of the gold bars if the owner failed to claim them within six months. However, it has since been decided that the cleaner could not claim any money from them, because they were “working as airport staff and it is part of the cleaner’s job to find lost things”.
After nearly a year of battling it out in court, St. John agreed to take home $140,000 (£107.4k) of the winnings while the estate of Kevin Donovan, the original ticket holder, got the rest of the winnings.
Manhattan resident Elizabeth Gibson was enjoying a leisurely stroll in New York's Upper East Side one morning in 2003 when she spotted a vividly-hued canvas lying on a pile of trash. Gibson grabbed the painting, took it back to her apartment and got sleuthing. The savvy New Yorker's detective work led her to the Antiques Roadshow FYI website, where she discovered the artwork was a 1970 painting called Tres Personajes (Three People) by acclaimed Mexican abstract artist Rufino Tamayo.
It transpired the painting had been stolen in 1987 from a Houston warehouse. Exactly how it ended up on a pile of trash in New York is anyone's guess. The painting was reunited with its rightful owner, and went on to sell for just over $1 million (£770,000), with Gibson receiving a cut of the proceeds as well as a $15,000 (£11.5k) reward.
Six days after it was discovered, another man got in touch with the police after reading about what had been found and revealed that he had thrown the elephant money box away without checking its contents. The man had been clearing his parents' apartment after his mother died, and his father moved to an old people's home. He will hopefully be reunited with the money once he's proved his story stacks up.