Antique dealer looks for homeless man who sold him rare item for $20

Antique stores and thrift shops are certainly the best place to find fascinating items. Curiosity Inc., is an antique store located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, which has a vast collection of interesting rare treasures. Its founder, Alexander Archbold, takes pride in the priceless background stories his collection contain.

“We opened Curiosity Inc. in 2016 With two main goals: to find some amazing items for the store, and to have adventures, including my family wherever possible.” The website of Archbold’s Curiosity Inc. explains.

Some of Alexander’s treasures come from people who drop by his shop. Adam, a homeless man, frequently visits his shop to see if he could sell things he finds whenever he does dumpster diving in the streets.

“It’s not unusual to have people walk in my store with treasures they have for sale,” Alexander explained. “I’ve seen him [Adam] through the store many times before, so he’s always a welcome sight.” 

During one of Adam’s trips, Alexander found a great treasure that Adam had with him and it holds a compelling and inspiring story.

“On that particular day, Adam was carrying a ratty, plastic bag with the loot and trinkets he’d found.” Alexander recalled. “One piece that kind of stood out was a picture of Bambi, in what was a dirty broken frame.”

“It’s the scene where Bambi is just born and meeting his forest friends … It’s an iconic part of the movie.” Alexander continued, describing the iconic scene in the famous Disney movie “Bambi.”

Thinking that the raggedly framed photo brought by Adam was merely an imitation of the original, Alexander bought it for $20. Alexander shared that he thought he could sell the photo for $100 after replacing its broken frame. Unbeknownst to the antique dealer, the iconic photo of Bambi holds a great value which is more than he had imagined.

“I took it out of the old frame and when I flipped it over, it had a really old certificate of authenticity. It had a copyright date of 1937 on it.” After realizing that the iconic photo is not a mere reproduction but an authentic one, Alexander wasted no time and consulted a gallery.

“I wrote a gallery in the U.S that had one, and they were asking $3,500 for theirs.” Alexander shared.  “That’s when I knew that I way underpaid. So I vowed that whatever I would get, I would give [Adam] half [the money].”

Wondering whether he could sell the iconic photo for more, Alexander put up the piece up for auction on eBay. Soon after, it has been sold for $3,700 CAD or $2,780 USD.

Being a man of respectable values, Alexander promised to himself that he would share half of the profit to Adam. After successfully selling the art piece on eBay, Alexander did everything he could to track Adam down.

“Getting him the money was difficult because he has no home and no phone number,” Alexander  “I took it upon myself to drive around town for a period of two weeks every single morning before work to try and find him.”

In a video he posted on his YouTube channel, Alexander shared how he tracked down Adam by connecting with some of his friends. He also shared his concerns about the safety and welfare of the homeless man.

“The back alleys and streets can be a tough place, and I want to make sure that if I give him a bunch of money I’m not going to put him in danger or in any kind of harm,” Alexander explained. “Either way, I got to make sure I look out for his best interest and his safety as well.”

Without knowing the reason why, Adam met up with Alexander and joined him for a hearty lunch. During their reunion, Alexander found out that Adam has been homeless for around 3 years and he happens to stay in town because of his three kids who are under foster care.

Adam also shared how he makes a living through rummaging through rubbish. He makes money by selling his salvaged items such as watch parts, finding old coins, and recovering stacks of cash. However, no matter how much money he makes, the amount is still not enough to live again with his children and keep a roof over their family.

After knowing this, Alexander finally revealed the reason behind their meeting. He handed over Adam’s share which amounted over $1,700. Alexander was stunned and could not believe the reality unfolding before his eyes.

In order to help Adam get back on his feet and have a fresh shot, Alexander set-up a GoFundMe account for the homeless man.

“I wanted to do something to help raise some money to get him a roof over his head for the winter, maybe rent an apartment for a while and give him a chance to be with his kids again.” Alexander explained on the GoFundMe page he created for Adam.

In just a matter of 28 days, Adam and Alexander have already reached more than their target. Through the help of more than 500 people, the page has already raised more than $17,000 in less than a month!

“I’m still kind of pinching myself,” Adam said, expressing his gratitude for the overwhelming generosity he has received. “It doesn’t seem real to me. It’s awesome to know people are out there that care and that are kind.”

Thanks to the kindness and generosity of the people who were touched by Adam and Alexander’s story, Adam has returned to Ontario. Now, the homeless man is not homeless anymore and is back with his family!

Indeed, it sure is reassuring to know that there are still people in the world who has compassion for others. Thanks to the honesty and principles of Alexander, the life of a homeless man is off to a better start!

Watch the video below to learn more about Alexander and Adam. Their beautiful story will surely restore your faith in humanity!

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