There are items at every sale that are worth giving a closer look than with just your eyes. Banks, pen/pencil jars boxes, sewing drawers and baskets are great catch-alls for little items of value, not necessarily items of little value.
I recently picked up this “Cuss” box at a sale for a quarter. It was really for the novelty aspect, and an inside joke between my daughter and I. Only a day before, I had failed at censoring myself when another driver decided to surprise me with their lack of perspective. The “close call” had resulted in a stream of vocabulary going through my mind would have filled a cuss jar and a half, and maybe one or 2 escaped the steel trap. “Daddy! You said a bad word.” and so began-eth the lesson on the cuss-jar. (sigh)
The whole box is no more than a 3.5in cube, and by the condition and style, I felt it was 60-70 years old. On the front is a rhyme, which curiously has no end:
“I am Just a little cuss box
but I can serve you well…
As long as you have lot’s o’dough
You can ???????”
I can’t make out those last words in red! Well, of all the (Bleep! Bleep! Bleep!) The reverse has a great price list for the level of swearing.
I handed it to my daughter and she exclaimed, “There’s something inside.” When we opened it, there before us were four coins and a washer. Inside were two Mercury dimes (’41,’43) and one Roosevelt dime (1950) and one wheat penny, which hadn’t seen the light of day in a long time.
The washer leads me to believe that someone tried to fool mom into think he’d paid his dues for the offense. Mercury dime values can be researched here. You can still find them hiding at sales, although they are not priceless, these are worth about $2.50 each in their current condition. The Roosevelt dime, which began circulation in 1946 was 90% silver until 1965 when it became the copper sandwich we use now.
Keep looking; there’s still treasure to be found out there.