When I was a child, I somehow came to acquire an old antique instrument case, and I used it as my treasure box, storing whatever items I found interesting or of value.  I’ve had it for decades, yet for quite a long time, I went without giving much thought or attention to it.

Back in 1986, when my parents moved out and purchased a new house, there wasn’t enough space for all of my belongings in my new bedroom, let alone an old antique box filled with what would be considered unnecessary junk in the eyes of an adult.  My parents at the time didn’t see how the antique wooden box could possibly have any value to an 8-year-old, and placed the box of junk treasure in the attic of the new house and completely forgot about it.

1986 was a huge turning point in my young life.  Not only was I moving to a new house, but I was also moving to a new school where I had to make new friends in a place that was totally alien to me at the time.  My father even went so far as to purchase a new car that would be capable of surviving the harsh winter snowfall, the likes of which I had never seen or experienced.

And so the antique box sat undisturbed, out of sight, and so hidden that in a sense it sat out of mind until I found it again yesterday.  For whatever reason something told me to find a ladder and climb up into the attic of my parents house, where as luck would have it, sat my childhood treasure box, along with several massive cardboard boxes that were filled with toys from the old house that were never opened.  Unfortunately, after cleaning the outside of the old wooden box, I opened it in hopes of finding some old nostalgic childhood junk, only to find a small handful of rocks covered in gold spray paint.

As luck would have it, the original label is still intact and very legible, and after doing some research, it turns out that the old antique case once contained a nautical ship chronometer manufactured by John Bliss & Company, New York City, between 1876 and 1885, the case itself is from 1881 according to a collectors website.

Regardless of the monetary or historical value, the antique nautical case I used for my childhood treasures is of itself a treasure to me that is beyond any price tag that could ever be offered.  And today it still holds personal treasures; I now use it to safely store my writing notebooks.  The size is perfect to hold Moleskine notebooks laid two across with a collection of disposable fountain pens between them with a little room to spare.  My treasure box might seem useless, silly, or insignificant to most, but to me it means everything.


13 thoughts on “My Antique Instrument Case

  1. Just imagine the unearthing of forgotten treasures. I remember the ship’s clock very well and can even tell you how it was acquired and who the donor was. Once we misplaced or lost the key that wound the chronometer springs. I don’t remember how it was recovered, but I do remember winding the clock and being overjoyed that it ran so well. Did you find the key? You showed me many real treasures hidden in your box. I was impressed. Do you remember who gave you the treasure trove box? So many fitting vignettes flick by and are sweet infusions nourishing our spirits. Those are the real treasures.

    1. I wish I could remember where, and more specifically, how I came to acquire the antique box. It’s the little details that would add more substance to the story.

  2. The antique looks well kept..its always good to have something that will hold the important details of our lives

  3. You were very lucky to recover your tresure, I wish I could had save anything that remind me of when I was a child.

  4. Awesome story i love how you came to find your childhood antique case and use it once again. I also love the picture and the story, magnificent.

  5. It’s a treasure having something that goes back to 2 centuries back. There are less items that date back to that time.

  6. My grandma use to have this although hers was a chest. We rarely see these today so it is a bit weird ha ha,

  7. I also like to store old items that are interesting for me personally. I also never expected that these items might be of value in the future. Only for my past memories, that’s all. 🙂

  8. Oh wow, I wish I had a store box just like this to keep me on old stuff. Moving houses have always made one throw things unnecessary. Now I know better

  9. It looks like this antique has been really taken care. It’s good to have something that is from the past. Sneak peak from the past.

  10. Its okay to be attached to something no matter how silly it seems to other people. I say hold on to it as much as you can and gift it to your kids in the future to keep it in the family.

  11. We all have something that is seemingly unimportant at first glance. Looking at it closely and finding the reason why makes it special.

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