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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.
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