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Honest carpenter discovers missing treasure trove in wardrobe
5:00pm Tuesday 15th October 2013 in News
MATTHEW Ding had no idea when he prised a small box from the back of a wardrobe he would be solving a decade-long mystery.
The carpenter was working on 100-year-old prestigious property in Dedham when he spotted the dusty box.
Nothing could prepare him for what he found inside.
Matthew, 24, said: “It was about the size of two iPhones.
“I opened it up and there was all this jewellery and diamonds in it.”
The stash, thought to be worth tens of thousands of pounds, included a diamond encrusted brooch, diamond rings, a diamond and pearl necklace, a gold watch as well as family heirlooms and momentoes, some from the war.
Unfased, Matthew, who was working on a job for employer Ponder Construction, thought nothing of it and put it back where he had found it.
He said: “I went home and had a shower.
“I knew the customer was coming back that evening so I went back to Dedham at 8pm and said ‘I have got something to show you’.
“I took out the box and said ‘look what I have found’.
“They were quite shocked.”
The treasure trove did not belong to them though and the hunt began to locate the previous occupiers.
Within a few days they had been tracked down and the jewellery claimed.
It had belonged to their elderly mother, who had lost it ten years earlier.
The jewellery has been reunited with its owner, who has asked to remain anonymous.
Matthew, who has worked for Ponder Construction for six years, said: “It’s unusual. You don’t find that sort of stuff lying around.
“I didn’t really think much of it. Handing it over was the honest thing to do.
“It’s the way I have been brought up.”
The stash was found on Monday, October 7.
The family have not revealed how much it is worth.
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