The Melbourne Herald Sun reported that he added: "It's not every day you're going to see something like this musket, or touch something like that in the flesh, that's the sort of thing you see in a museum. I think it's quite amazing that people have this sort of antiquity at home."
The police do not know if this might have belonged to the family of the former French general and president Charles de Gaulle, who was born in 1890 and died in 1970, having served as president from 1959 to 1969. They think it would be interesting to find out, and to have it (with the other weapons) displayed publicly for the enjoyment and education of all.
Yes, it is very true, it is surprising what turns up in people's home and, moreover, what items of unforeseen value might be purchased in a second hand shop.
In the early 1970's near Sutton Forrest in the Southern Highlands of NSW, and with friends, who decided to stop and have a cuppa at a country spot where there was also a second hand shop.
As a keen saxophonist I was always on the look out for any sort of musical memorabilia, and this time I saw an old violin which was without strings. With my (then youthful) spirit of adventure, I thought that it couldn't be so hard to learn to play it, and I purchased it for $5.
The following week I sought out a violin repairer who took one look at it, and showed me the three hundred year old tag inside the hub and sure enough it was one of the many 'Italian village constructed' Stradivarius violins.
This was the original 'Henry Ford conveyor-belt model' of construction, in that the village had people highly skilled to make each one of the violin components separately, and finally there was a group of people who were competent to put all the pieces together.
Thousands upon thousands were produced over three hundred years; so although they are not 'original hand-made Stradivari' by any means, they can become more and more valuable as time goes by. Yet, someone had thrown it out!
Then there was the old wind-up gramophone that was passed down to me, along with the 78 vinyl records from the 1930s with the songs 'Our Don Bradman' and 'Our Eleven' which I've since donated to the Bradman Museum.
When I initiated Australia's Bush Orchestra with my wife, Delma, when we were living in Moruya on the NSW south coast, along the natural bush path under the sound of birdsong, I incorporated a display about the Gold Rush era around Araluen.
A friend offered me a rare antique non-firing flint pistol to display to add a dimension to the bushranger stories as part of this display. This gentleman had several of them and was licensed to house them. We applied to the authorities to display it; however, we didn't have a shooting license and physical protective conditions were beyond our capacity, so unfortunately we could not show this genuine period firearm.
There are thousands upon thousands of similar stories of people having the most remarkable antique items in their possession.
Without realising their value, many homes still retain very old hard framed, iron clipped, family Bibles. These were commonplace during the 19th century and almost every family, regardless of their economic status, secured one or had one bequeathed to them when older family members passed on.
These were once read in family readings, but for well over a hundred years now, in most families their purpose has been for 'show' or 'display', partly due to their fragile nature and partly due to the change in family customs.
It might not be such a bad idea to have a look around your home, in those nooks and crannies where all those old boxes are stored and you may find items that are now seen as being of considerable value. You may even find one of those old Bibles.