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Unassuming Doorstop Turns Out to be Historic $30,000 Sculpture for Broke College Graduate

Source: Foreign Policy

The loss of a beloved grandparent is a shocking thing for anyone. Some people get very close to their grandparents over the years, and the nature of life is that unfortunately, those bonds do not last forever. There are times, though, where that beloved grandparent leaves behind a legacy worth cherishing, which is the situation one college graduate found herself in.

Meet Alice

Alice was a student from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She and her grandmother were the best of friends, and throughout Alice’s life, the pair shared a deep, unbreakable bond. When her grandmother passed away, Alice was truly devastated, and was at a loss for what to do.

Source: Pexels/Cottonbro Studio

Her grandmother was a kind and honest woman, and she always gave Alice her undying love and support. Throughout her life, Alice had drawn a lot of strength and confidence from her grandmother, making it especially heartbreaking when she finally passed and Alice didn’t have her to lean on anymore.

Alice Was Given a House

The final act of love from Alice’s grandmother was to bequeath Alice with all of her worldly possessions, including the house that they had spent so many years making memories in. For a lot of people, this would be an enormous gesture all it’s own, and that was certainly true for Alice.

Source: Pinterest

The inheritance was also painful, though. Alice was surrounded by memories that she and her grandmother had created together, but her grandmother was no longer around to continue making memories. It was a bittersweet inheritance, and that was only the beginning.

An Inventory of Her Grandmother’s Possessions

After receiving the house, Alice did her best to clean up everything that had been left behind, and make an inventory of all of the items in the house. There was a great deal of things to go through, and Alice knew that it was important that she didn’t rush it.

Source: Flickr/duoyen

She took her time, and everything that she touched and went through reminded her of her grandmother. There were items that reminded her of her childhood, and even more things that reminded her of the woman that she had subsequently become. And it was during this inventory that Alice made an odd discovery.

A Tiny Bronze Statue

On the floor near the front door of the house was a tiny bronze statue, which was sculpted in the likeness of the Greek goddess, Thetis. The goddess was the daughter of the sea god Nereus, and her grandmother had been using it as a doorstop for as long as Alice could remember.

Source: PBS

The piece was lovely, and it made Alice smile to remember her grandmother’s fondness for ancient history and mythology. She didn’t think of the statue beyond a rather odd choice for doorstop, though that would quickly change.

What to do with Everything?

After going through all of her grandmother’s items, Alice was faced with the enormous task of what to do with all of the things. They all had precious memories for her personally, but Alice was a practical person. She knew that sentiment wasn’t enough of a reason to keep everything that her grandmother had left to her.

Source: Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio

On top of that, Alice was in a bit of a financial pickle. She had gone to school and finished her degree, but she had gotten her degree in History. History is, unfortunately, not the most employable field, and Alice found herself stuck with debt and little way out of it.

Listing Everything Online

Though it was painful, Alice knew the most practical choice was to list everything that her grandmother had left her online for sale, keeping some of the most sentimental items for herself. There was quite a bit of buzz around the sale, but one particular item started to get more notice than the others.

Source: Pexels/Soul Winner’s For Christ

The little bronze statue that her grandmother had been using for a doorstop – an item that Alice had seen as unremarkable and unimportant for so many years – started to generate buzz on the internet. At first, Alice thought that it was because it had been used as a doorstop, which was clearly not the intended purpose of the statue.

An Offer, and a Denial

Alice had listed the bronze doorstop for $15 online, which she had initially seen as a fair price for something that she saw as odd, but unremarkable. She got her first offer from an anonymous buyer overseas a few days later, but something inside of Alice told her not to sell.

Source: Adobe Stock

The amount of interest that the statue had garnered online had piqued Alice’s interest, and instead of selling to the first person who was interested, she decided to take the statue to an appraiser and find out what it really was that she had on her hands.

Letters Inside the Statue

The appraiser started to examine the statue, and there Alice made another discovery. Inside the statue was hollow, and there they found a letter that had been stuffed inside, written by her grandmother!

Source: Pexels/Suzy Hazelwood

The letter and the statue combined were an important find, and the appraiser took his time to look them over. Alice, understandably, got a little antsy the longer she had to wait for the appraiser to tell her what she had found, but she was willing to give him the time necessary to do his job right.

The Appraiser Finally Returned

It took some time, but finally the appraiser came back to her with information about the item that her grandmother had been using as a doorstop. The statue that Alice had thought was a mere trinket turned out to be much more than that, and Alice found herself more and more baffled and excited as the appraiser explained.

Source: Antiques Arena/Walter O’Neill

Alice discovered that the statue was a creation from a prominent French sculptor who worked back in the 19th century. That alone was exciting news for Alice, who had such a passionate interest in both art and history, so much so that she went to school to get a degree in the subject.

Excitement from the Appraiser

The appraiser wasn’t done, though. He got more and more excited and animated as he explained the finer details of the statue to Alice, clearly thrilled that he had been able to work with her on this delightful discovery.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Not only was the appraiser able to determine the origins of the statue, but in space and time, but he was also able to determine exactly who had made the piece in the first place.

A Competition Prize Piece

According to the appraiser, through his investigation of the letter that had been left inside the statute and a thorough examination of the statue itself, he had determined that the bronze statue was a piece that had been entered in a distinguished sculpture contest in France.

Source: dominicwinter

The contest that this particular statue had been a part of had taken place in 1857, meaning that the statue was well over one hundred years old by the time it came into Alice’s possession. He was also able to determine that the statue had ultimately won first prize at the competition, which only added to its historic and monetary value.

Alice was Amazed

Alice was stunned and amazed by the truth of the statue. She was also a little confused. Where had her grandmother gotten this statue? Had she bought it somewhere, not knowing the true value of it? Why had she stored a letter inside of it?

Source: Pexels/Pixabay

Most importantly, why had Alice’s grandmother been using the piece as a doorstop for all these years? Alice knew that she would never get the answers to any of these questions. The only evidence that she had of her grandmother’s thoughts and behaviors was in the statute itself.

An Enormous Value

Alice was even more stunned when the appraiser finally told her what he believed the price of the statue was. He appraised the statue at being valued at $30,000, which was a huge windfall for Alice, considering the debts that she had accumulated over the years.

Source: Pexels/Pavel Danilyuk

Alice was amazed at the price of the statue, and was even more grateful that she had listened to her gut and not sold the statue for $15 on the internet. She knew that it was very likely that someone had tried to swindle her out of the statue without her ever knowing exactly what it was that she had on her hands.

A Chance at a New Beginning

The appraiser promised to put Alice in contact with some people who would help her to sell the statue, and would ensure that she got what the statue was truly worth. In the meantime, Alice took the statue and the letters home, full of new hope for the future.

Source: Pexels/Shutterstock

She couldn’t have her grandmother back, that was true. But Alice’s grandmother had left her something special in the items and memories that she had left behind. Not only sentimental value in the memories of their time together, but also the shot at a new beginning.

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James Cross

Written by James Cross

James Cross, an enigmatic writer from the historic city of Boston. James' writing delves into mysteries, true crime, and the unexplained, crafting compelling narratives that keep readers and viewers on the edge of their seats. His viral articles, blog posts, and documentary-style videos explore real-life enigmas and unsolved cases, inviting audiences to join the quest for answers. James' ability to turn real mysteries into shareable content has made him a sensation in the world of storytelling.

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