Hidden away in secret stashes throughout the house in Normandy, France, he came across thousands of gold coins and bars weighing in at over 220lb [100kg], total.
Local auctioneer Nicolas Fierfort, confirming a report in the local La Depeche newspaper as he told AFP : “There were 5,000 gold pieces, two bars of 12 kilos and 37 ingots of 1 kilo”.
Fierfort, who had visited the house to appraise furniture offered for sale by the new owner, said the gold collection, which was worth $3.7m ( €3.5m), was “extremely well hidden”.
“It was under the furniture, under piles of linen, in the bathroom … everywhere,” he said, admitting that he himself had overlooked the gold on his visit.
First he found a tin box of coins screwed to the underside of a piece of furniture. From there the trail led to a box for a bottle of whisky and other hiding places until he hit the jackpot: a pile of gold bars each weighing 26.5 lb.
“At that point he called his solicitor to make an inventory,” Fierfort said.
Eventually, a massive pile of 23-pound gold bars stared the new home owner in the face.
An estimated 220 pounds of the precious metal was located all around the home, including 5,000 gold pieces, two 26-pound bars and 37 smaller bars weighing two-pounds each.
The gold, after the examination of experts, was dated back to the 1950s and 1960s when the man’s wealthy relative had bought the precious metal.
All the certificates of authenticity were later found in the deceased’s estate.
The heir, though liable to a 45% percent inheritance tax, has already sold the gold to various international buyers.