Heirlooms feared stolen found

PRECIOUS heirlooms worth more than $23,000 have been found, six weeks after they were thought to be stolen from a Millbank woman.

The 300-year-old gold and ivory letter seal and a golden Russian egg were found hidden among clothing at the 83-year-old woman’s home.

“Mum had it hidden in her drawers for safe-keeping, but she couldn’t remember that’s where she’d put them because she has dementia, so she thought they had been taken,” son Gregory Desgrand said.

The items were reported missing after Mr Desgrand’s mother returned from nine weeks in hospital after breaking her hip.

It was initially thought the valuable items had been taken by a visitor to the home, and the presumed theft was reported to the police on December 17 last year.

The family offered a reward for their return, but it appears the heirlooms were safe all along.

He said a family member had been cleaning his mother’s room to prepare her for a move to Stanthorpe, when she uncovered the hidden treasures.

“It was quite a relief,” Mr Desgrand said.

“We’ve contacted the police to tell them we have them.”

The seal — worth about $20,000 — was passed down through the Desgrand family, and came from a castle in Scotland that was their ancestral home.

The egg dates from about 1901 and was bought by a family member on a pilgrimage to Israel.

“We will ensure they are kept safely now,” Mr Desgrand said.

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