Home / Best Lists / You buy a box of ‘Junk’ from Yard Sale, it turns out to be way more valuable than he thought

You buy a box of ‘Junk’ from Yard Sale, it turns out to be way more valuable than he thought

Everything would change

In his hands he held a box that would change everything. He wiped off the dust when he felt himself at an intersection. He might be too weak to continue.

If he was wrong about it, he would have serious legal implications and ridicule. He knew it was a gamble, but his inner gambler told him to ignore the risks. What if he could prove all critics wrong? Imagine if he were on the right.

Looking for a deal

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Rick Norsigian was a 64 year old man and did not believe in stupid things like fate. The competent carpenter and painter worked hard to get all the things he had today. He loved nothing more than repairing old antiques and making them beautiful again.

In his free time he drove around the neighborhood looking for yard sales ̵

1; always looking for the next offer. In 2000, Rick found something in Fresno that caught his eye. Although he didn’t see it as fate, trading would change his world.

Liked the look

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While he was looking for antiques, he noticed a barber’s chair. He was a curious man and wondered if it could be his next project. He drove his car next to the farm shop and looked around.

Rick decided the chair couldn’t be saved by the time damage and started looking at other things. He was already there. So why not take a look? He spotted some cardboard boxes and hurried over to see what might be inside.


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He lifted the lid of the box and saw a collection of negatives. He thought he might have recognized one of them. He just couldn’t remember where he’d seen it before.

He felt he had to take these negatives. The owner sold it for $ 75, and Rick thought it was an unreasonable price. At this point, Rick had no idea what value the negatives might be.


Blue bus type

Rick was used to doing business at Yar Sales, so he put on his best poker face and got ready to haggle. The owner told Rick that he received the box of negatives in a warehouse in Los Angeles in the 1940s.

Rick pointed out any damage from smoke on the box as well as years of wear and tear. The seller eventually lowered the price to $ 45. The owner was unaware of the mistake he had just made.

Crazy man

Blue bus type

While Rick was busy getting his wallet out to pay for his things, a man pushed past Rick and asked the owner to sell the negatives to him. Rick said politely, “Sorry, I just bought these so they won’t be for sale anymore.”

The man began to seething with anger, his whole body trembling with resentment. He mumbled something Rick couldn’t see and stormed off. At that moment, Rick felt a lump in his stomach. What did he just buy?

65 negatives

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After Rick got home, he counted a total of 65 negatives in the damaged box. It was just a coincidence that he turned 65 in a few months. Rick was more than happy with what he had bought and put them under his pool table in hopes of adding them to his collection of strange antiques.

Every time he had a new guest or family came to visit, Rick would pull out the negatives and show them off. Rick did this for years – he developed his theory about where the negatives came from.

People had their doubts

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The negatives showed the beautiful Yosemite Mountains – Rick was positive. As a young man he worked there and knew the ridges like the back of his hand. But after Rick had the negatives for two years, he felt uncomfortable about what their origins could be.

He took his negatives on a spontaneous basis and locked them in a bank vault. If he was right about these negatives, he could be making a fortune. He knew this would bring people he didn’t want attention from.

To take a risk

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Rick could be wrong in these pictures, he would be ridiculed by everyone if that were the case. And it would even have legal implications. But if he was actually right, he would rewrite history and make a fortune doing it.

He knew it was time to find out. He contacted an expert. They said the negatives were actually from the 1930s. Rick already knew this, he just hoped it was the “lost photos” he thought it was.

Could it be true?

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Rick knew a thing or two about antiques and he knew who took these photos. When they confirmed the negatives were from the 1930s, Rick was excited in his chest.

Was it even possible? The artist’s work, which he believed he was holding in his hands, was apparently lost in a tragedy that occurred in 1937. They matched the date. Did he dare to get excited? Rick was unaware of the battle over the negatives.



Most experts believed that years of Ansel Adams’ work were lost in the early 1930s. These photographs had great historical and artistic significance as they documented the photographer’s transition from amateur to master.

Most experts believed that years of Ansel Adams’ work were lost in the early 1930s. These photographs had great historical and artistic significance as they documented the photographer’s transition from amateur to master.

American photographer

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The beloved father of American photography was known for his black and white landscapes of the American West.

His work was so revered that it led to monumental environmental efforts to preserve American national parks. He also established photography as an official discipline in higher education. Unfortunately, he faced tragedy early in his career.

A fire

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In 1937 a fire burned out of control in Ansel’s studio, destroying thousands of his negatives and stills. And now Rick is claiming he found these precious works at a farm sale in Fresno.

This meant that he had the “missing link” in Ansel Adams’ career that historians had been looking for. It was a bold claim, but could he take the backlash?



The harsh backlash from art directors, historians, and the Adams estate itself was quick and violent. They all refused to believe the negatives were real.

Soon the public got wind of his claims and everyone was mocking and mocking him, calling him a cheater and a cheater. Rick was discouraged to say the least. But he was determined to prove everyone wrong. He knew he needed help.

Hire an expert

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After much deliberation, Rick hired a lawyer named Arnold Peter. Arnold claimed that “no sane person would doubt that these were indeed the long-lost pictures of Ansel Adams.”

Arnold tried to represent Rick, but he had to prove that the negatives were authentic. He worked with experts in the arts, forensics, handwriting, and weather to find out the truth. He told journalists that the negatives were “on trial”.

A divisive matter

Ansel Adams

Art dealer David Streets said, “There really is a missing link between Ansel Adams and history and his career. This will show the world the development of his eye, his talent, his abilities, his gift, but also his heritage. “

However, the media remained skeptical. And then the criticism became more and more personal.


Ansel Adams

The managing director of the Ansel Adams Trust publicly dismissed Rick’s results as a joke and denounced the so-called “experts” as “crooks” and “fraudsters”.

Despite the disgust of the trustees and the media, Rick held his head up. He was too deep to turn back now. He swore that he would prove them all wrong. But to end the litigation, Rick had to sign an agreement.

It seemed like a good deal

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Arnold claimed he could make up to $ 200 million off the negatives, so Rick happily signed the contract. Arnold arranged for a company called Media Partners Global to sell the prints on his behalf, relieving him of any legal responsibility. It seemed too good to be true.

Media Partners Global was sued after the negatives were sold, but not before they took their share of the huge profits. The company had to stop using the name Ansel Adams. Then something occurred to Rick. Something was very wrong.

Left in the dark

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It turns out the company made a profit of $ 1.8 million, but Rick didn’t see a penny of it. He was angry. How could they do this to him?

Over time, more officials denounced the authenticity of the negatives, claiming they actually belonged to a photographer named Earn Brooks. After examining it, Rick made a disturbing discovery.

Lost for words

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The company that sold its prints, Media Partners Global, was owned by none other than Arnold Peter! The attorney pocketed much of the $ 1.8 million profit behind Rick’s back. But how did he get away with it?

He used confusing legal jargon to fill in gaps in their agreement. Even the people he hired were scammers! For Rick, his world suddenly seemed to collapse.

It was all a fraud

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One of the fraud experts, David Streets, turned out to be a convicted criminal! Together with the other “experts” he had been commissioned by Arnold to fake the authentication of Rick’s negatives.

Of course, Rick hired new lawyers – the ones he actually checked – to sue Arnold. But by then it was far too late.

Lose millions

Ansel Adams

Rick took the chance to make millions and limited himself to selling the prints online under the title “The Lost Negatives” only.

However, business with printing technology isn’t exactly booming these days. But Rick still has hope. Hope justice is finally served.

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