She could feel her heart pounding in her chest as she watched the man turn over the statue. He started tapping on a secret compartment and she felt confused as she had never noticed it before. He pulls out a piece of paper and her blood turned cold...
What dreadful secrets did her statue conceal? And to think she was only using it as a doorstop a week ago. But what the appraiser said next would completely change her life.
Bridget Jackson was not like the other children from Kansas City. She never asked her parents to buy her the flashiest toy or anything of that sort, she was rather interested in what she could find at garage sales!
Bridget was passionate about antiques. She spends hours at garage sales looking for valuable items. She expected it to pay off someday, but she was unaware of what she would come across.
Popularity was not a priority for Bridget. She had parents who supported her hobbies and always made sure to be on the lookout for yard sales or charity shops. All Bridget's parents wanted was for her to comfortably express herself.
If only her parents had known that her hobby would lead to the disclosure of a major secret from a powerful figure.
Bridget also enjoyed learning more about antiques and how to differentiate between a real antique and a fake one. She spent hours after school watching documentaries and reading books about them.
Her parents were supportive of her and purchased anything they could to help her with her hobby. However, if they knew where this would lead their poor daughter, they never would have supported it...
Treasure In The Trash
Bridget loved going to her grandmother's house in search of antiques and one afternoon she was looking through boxes in the attic. She was starting to feel discouraged as her search has proven to be fruitless.
Just as she was starting to lose hope, she saw something. She instantly knew that this item possessed incredible value!
Drawn To It
She saw a bronze statue hiding at the bottom of the box. Her eyes widened. She didn't know what she was holding in her hands, but it drew her in.
She asked her grandmother if she could keep it, and her grandmother agreed for $15. Bridget was so excited! She could not wait to go home and show her parents what she found. If only she had known what she was getting herself into.
She spent the last of her birthday money on the strange statue, but she knew she had to have it. It was a mysterious item and Bridget knew that there was more to it than meets the eye.
It could have been a valuable antique, or it could have been a cheap Christmas decoration with no value. Bridget was eager to find out.
Bridget searched all over the internet to find information about the bronze statue, but to no avail. She felt defrauded. She was out of money and had nothing to show for it but a doorstop.
The entire ordeal brought Bridget to tears. She could not believe that she wasted her money like that. However, her parents showed her something that gave her hope.
Bridget's parents told her that her favorite TV show, Antique Roadshow was coming to her hometown!
Her mood instantly lifted. She knew that they could provide her with information about her newest antique. She would finally get closure on whether the statue was worth something or not. But she could never have predicted the appraiser's response.
A week later Bridget found herself sitting with Ernest DuMouchelle, an appraiser for the show. He gave her a smile as he assessed the statue. Bridget watched the man flip over her statue to reveal a secret compartment. They could not believe it!
He opened the compartment and found a note inside. As he was reading the note, Bridget saw the man's eyes lit up. She knew this was something big.
Bridget had no idea that the statue had a hidden compartment or even that there was a note inside it. She couldn’t believe what secrets the statue would hold and that Ernest would be the one to find it.
What was written in the note that had him so excited?
Ernest explained that the note was a certificate of authenticity for the statue and that it was created by Pierre Émile. Émile was a Neoclassical artist whose work went for a pretty penny.
Ernest even managed to date the statue back to 1867, which made it very special. Bridget couldn’t believe it, her gut feeling hadn’t let her down.
Pierre Émile was well known for his bronze statues and none were like each other. That meant her statue was completely unique. Bridget couldn’t believe she was using it as a doorstop just a week earlier.
It was a pretty expensive doorstop, being appraised at around $5,000.
A Budding Young Collector
Her parents couldn’t believe what their little girl had found in her grandmother’s attic. It was more than just a hobby to her now but a passion. It was the push she needed to spark her collecting.
This would only be the first of many pieces that she would start to collect but she always remembers her roots
Bridget was extremely happy with the luck combined with her gut feeling. But she hasn’t forgotten every bit of help that she got to lead her to her passion.
She was thankful for her parents being so supportive because without them nurturing and encouraging her passion she would never have continued and found the statue.