98 Times People Inherited Very Unusual But Impressive Things From Their Relatives

Heirlooms and traditions are meant to be protected and respected. They’re what help connect all the different generations in your family tree with a shared heritage. Not only that, but they’re often very physical reminders of the people we love who have passed on.

Bored Panda has collected some of the most impressive and unusual examples of family heirlooms ever from all around the internet. It’s proof that you don’t have to inherit a chest full of jewels and gold doubloons for something to be valuable. Scroll down to see what some families’ legacies look like.

#1 I Just Inherited This Moon Globe From My Late Grandmother. The Far Side Has A Blank Area As It Was Still Unknown When The Globe Was Made

Image credits: jb2386

#2 Chess Set/Table I Inherited From My Grandfather

Image credits: redbandit87

#3 I Just Inherited An 1864 Steinway & Sons Style 1 Rococo Grand Piano

Image credits: ejchristian86

No matter how wonderful or extravagant inheritances can be, they can be emotionally messy and physically tiring to sort out. First of all, you’re likely still mourning the loss of a loved one. If you were particularly close, you will need lots of time and support to accept what has happened, to heal, and continue living your life. So, you’re probably not even thinking about what heirlooms they left you in their will. 

Another issue is that even if you loved someone very dearly, you still most likely might have to give up some of the things they left you. Unless you have a very large home or you’re blessed with plenty of storage, you couldn’t possibly accommodate every tiny little thing they were sentimental about, from furniture and photo albums to hobby knick-knacks and a hundred different dolls they collected.

#4 I Inherited This Toaster From The 1920s Around 10 Years Ago And It Has Worked Great Every Single Day

Image credits: BenderSimpsons

#5 My Paternal Great-Grandfather, Harry, Proposed To My Great-Grandmother, Edith, With This Five-Stone Opal Engagement Ring Full Of Fire. I Inherited It After My Grandmother Passed Away In 1990

Not sure of the year they married, but my grandfather was born (in wedlock) in 1908, so the ring and box are 113+ years old! The box is as fascinating as the ring. It is leather, velvet-lined, hinged, and secured with a latch hook. Most importantly to me, inside the ring, alongside the Maker's Marks, is the inscription "With Harry's Love".

Image credits: Heather Godden

#6 The Nutcracker My Friend Inherited From His Grandmother

Image credits: dittidot

If your relative was a particularly energetic collector (or had a gentle inclination toward hoarding), you might find yourself having to sort through boxes and boxes of things.

Some of these items might be historically valuable, and you’d like to keep them. Others might have had a deep sentimental value to their original owner that might be lost on you.

#7 Great-Great-Grandmother's Necklace

By request, here is the other piece of jewelry from my great-great-grandmother!  Unfortunately, there are no maker marks on this one or that's the case, either.

Image credits: Mc_Tater

#8 I've Inherited All These Things

Image credits: Innuendoughnut

#9 My Grandma's Prized Calamondin Orange Tree, Which I Inherited. She Passed Away Last Week

Image credits: alcadesa

But the reality is that many of the things you’ve inherited may have no real place in your home. You might not want them, or they might simply not (physically) fit at home. And holding on to hundreds of things out of guilt is no way to go through life.

Some of the items you find while sorting through your loved one’s home might be worth selling or donating to charity if they’re in good enough condition. Others, inevitably, might have to be thrown away… or subtly given to your other relatives to see if they’d like them.

#10 A Massive Wrench I Inherited. Weighs Over 30 Pounds. Novelty Or Functional?

Image credits: map-6346

#11 My Uncle's 56-Year-Old Tortoise, Which He Inherited From My Grandparents

Image credits: Saucy_Lemur

#12 Went From A 2-Person Backpacking Tent To This 1981 Pop-Up Trailer That I Inherited From My Grandpa. Feels So Elegant

Image credits: morrisonismydog

AARP suggests going through your family photo albums one at a time to figure out which pictures your relatives may want to keep in the future. From our perspective, all photos are valuable. However, from a practical standpoint, you need to prioritize what you leave behind if you have dozens and dozens of albums.

#13 Inherited This From My Grandpa. He Bought It New

Image credits: eberbs

#14 This 1985 Spirit Of St. Louis Field Radio Was Passed Down To Me From My Grandpa

Image credits: HERMANNATOR85

#15 I Inherited These Vintage Drawing Tools From My Grandpa. It Probably Belonged To My Great-Grandpa. It Came With A Vintage "How To Sketch" Book

Image credits: muffintestine

The same goes for toys, furniture, artwork, etc.: ideally, you sort out what’s worth keeping from what you have a superficial attachment to. It really helps if you have someone you care about by your side as you’re doing some spring cleaning. Another perspective is often helpful. 

#16 This Tiny Pocket Knife I Inherited From My Grandfather

Image credits: eyunzicker

#17 A Family Member Passed Away And I Inherited Their Cat

Image credits: Nervardia

#18 Made A Bar Of Soap Out Of My Father-In-Law’s Inherited 110-Year-Old Soap Press For His Birthday (Stanley Soap Co. Est. 1865, NYC)

Stanley is indeed their family name. His great-grandfather was John T. Stanley, who emigrated from England to the United States in 1860 at the age of 17. He was skilled in soap and candle making at the time however, his first job was in collecting animal fat from around the city. Now my history of how he parlayed this trade into soap making is a bit hazy at the moment but I’ll be sure to get the full story after we blow out some candles on my father-in-law’s cake.

Image credits: lucybri83

At the end of the day, you choose what to do with your inheritance. If you’ve been handed down a gorgeous signet ring, massive family photo album, gilded spellbook, stylish car, high-quality tools, or a magical sword, then everything’s pretty clear: you take good care of these items until you can pass them on to the next generation.

In this case, it’s very obvious that these items have a long and storied history that’s worth preserving.

#19 I Inherited A Century-Old Cast Iron Waffle Maker This Christmas. It Still Cooks Amazing Waffles

It’s not quite 100, but it will be in the next year. My great-grandfather purchased it new. I remember eating waffles fresh out of it at my grandmother’s house thirty years ago. My mom has had it for the past fifteen years and decided to gift it to me this Christmas, as she knows I love cast iron cookery.

Image credits: ijusthavenoidea

#20 I Inherited This Perfume Bottle Necklace When My Mom Passed Away. I Think She Wore It In The 70s. And I Just Found Out It Has A Secret - This Pointy, Mini Arrow-Looking Thing Comes Out

Image credits: bethshurt

#21 My Friend Showed Me An Envelope Of Photographs He Inherited From His Father Who Worked On The Bomb

His father was not the photographer - the photographs were mailed to him from the infamous "PO Box 1663" in Santa Fe and were taken at Bikini Atoll.

His dad went to Notre Dame, MIT, and USC, and had degrees in chemical engineering, architectural engineering, and nuclear physics.

Image credits: NoodleBlitz

It can be a huge help if the person leaving behind their things mentions what is and isn’t important and why in their will. It’s easy to assume that absolutely everyone will know not to throw away a respected family heirloom, but not everyone might know their own history in such detail.

If the heirloom is slightly unusual (like a vintage toaster, quality iron waffle maker, or old-timey radio), you might need some guidance and a gentle reminder that what you have is genuinely good, even if it doesn’t glitter like gold.

#22 I Inherited David Clark Headsets After My Dad Passed Away. My Dad Used Them Flying Helicopters In The Army

My dad used them while flying helicopters in the Army, then in the National Guard. I adapted them for use when I maintenance taxi commercial aircraft for a major airline. They still sound great and will probably outlast me as well.

Image credits: MentalEntropy

#23 This Is A Polaroid 800 Land Camera From The Late 1950s. I Inherited It From My Aunt In 2007

I used it decoratively until I realized that it accepted 4x5 sheet film without modification. Now, it's my go-to, large-format film camera.

Image credits: goodcheapandfast

#24 My Wife's Whirley-Pop That Her Grandmother Used. Still Makes Perfect Popcorn Every Time

Image credits: hezzyb

All that being said, it’s a reminder that you shouldn’t rely just on your will to remind everyone that your family has an important legacy to preserve. It’s very important to maintain this living knowledge throughout your life. A big part of that is doing research into your family’s roots, recounting stories from the past, and maintaining family traditions.

#25 I Inherited My Grandmother's Pencil Sharpener From My Aunt About Five Years Ago And This Beast Has Been Tirelessly Working In My Classroom For Three Years

I teach 5th and 6th grade math.
I have no idea how old it is, but it's certainly older than all the students and even some of the teachers.

Image credits: alja1

#26 My New Keystone Olympic Standard 8 Mm Film Video Camera, Inherited From My Great-Grandfather

Image credits: Day47media

#27 BIFL - Sterling 5 Qt Ice Cream Maker (Ca 1970s). Inherited From Grandma, Still Churning Goodness

Image credits: parothed28

Now, the family traditions themselves don’t have to be anything overly elaborate—though they can be! What’s important is that your family has traditions and you all get together, not the specific details of how you do things. Getting together for a meal every Sunday can be a wonderful tradition.

It might even eventually turn your pancake pan or waffle maker into veterans of a thousand brunches and highly coveted heirlooms. However, keep in mind that the items themselves have to be made of quality materials and with excellent craftsmanship to stand the test of time.

#28 A Masonic Ball That My Grandma Handed Down To Me After Passing

Image credits: chrisodeljacko

#29 My Best Friend Passed Away Unexpectedly A Few Months Ago. We Were Both Hardcore Gamers And I Inherited His Tangible Collection And Added It To My Much Smaller One And Made A Tribute To Him

Some of these things he had since he was barely out of diapers. There are so many gems here.

Image credits: 8bit-meow

#30 I Inherited This Handmade Gold Ring After My Father Passed. My Mom Told Me It's Been Passed Through The Family For 400 Years. I've Never Known What It Says, Nor Did He

Image credits: nsteck10

Which of the heirlooms that we’ve featured in this post impressed you the most, dear Pandas? What are the most interesting things that you’ve inherited from your family? What are the coolest things you hope to leave behind for your kids? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

#31 This Miniature Leather-Bound Library Of Classics I Inherited From A Friend, All No Bigger Than My Palm

Image credits: Crips_Ahoy177

#32 My Grandpa's Razor I Inherited. Used To Shave With Him (Without Razor In) When Little. 25 Years Later, I'm Here, Cleaned It Up And Threw a New Razor In. 1940s Gold Plated DE

Image credits: rivet_head99

#33 Dad Passed Away. This Is My Inheritance

Image credits: andthatis

#34 Inherited My Great-Grandmother's Crystal Ball

This crystal ball was passed down from my great-grandmother to my nana and now to me. It’s my most prized possession that I can’t stop looking at. I also love the stand that my nana got - three meerkats!

Image credits: mochimeggie

#35 I Inherited This Pocket Watch From My Grandparents

Image credits: HankTheCrank

#36 When My Grandfather Passed Away I Inherited This. Needs Some Work But My Grandpa Had Good Taste

Image credits: kitkatzz

#37 Japanese Scissors. Daily Use For 7 Years. Inherited From My Late Grandpa. Carbon Steel - Bluish Tint

Image credits: Lightmyfire213

#38 Tool Shrine I Built To Showcase My Father's And Grandfather's Tools I Inherited

Image credits: BMWbill

#39 Rotring 600 I Inherited

Image credits: reddit.com

#40 Today Is My Daughter's 5th Birthday, And Today She Inherited My Beloved Childhood Dollhouse

All ready for the birthday girl! I've been fixing up all the furniture and making new bits for it for the last few weeks. Kitchen, as a surprise for me, my amazing brother carefully dismantled the whole house, packed it up, and shipped it over to our UK home from Canada where it had been in storage. Master, still have to fix up the baby's cot which will go with the rocker. My sister-in-law made the tufted rug. In the living room, the rug is a squirrel skin my mother was gifted in the 5th grade from a boy who had a crush on her. Bathroom! the majority of the furniture (and the house itself) was purchased in Germany in the early '90s when my military dad was posted there (we lived there for 5 years.) In the kids' room, my mum has made the bunks new bedding since this photo was taken. The cars for the car mat are buttons. And in the entryway, the lights are strings of fairy lights with the battery packs strategically hidden. I didn't want to do anything too permanent, so they're just taped up for now.

Image credits: ladysearah

#41 GE A10 T17 Toaster, It's Close To 50 Years Old And Still Used Daily. It Was My Grandmother's Until She Passed Away, And I Ended Up With It. They Don't Make Them Like This Anymore

Image credits: Kakariti

#42 I Am The Third Generation To Own This Crock Pot

Image credits: MusicaMundana

#43 Authentic 1910 Singer Sewing Machine Inherited From My Great-Grandmother. Still Works

Image credits: rainyrew

#44 This Ice Cream Scooper We Inherited From My Grandma When We Moved Into Her House. We Use It All The Time And It Seems Indestructible

Image credits: d7it23js

#45 My Grandma Passed Away & I Will Inherit This Old Story & Clark Baby Grand That Originally Belonged To My Great-Grandmother (Hence The 60's/70's Avocado Green)

My dad thinks it may have been satin black originally... Is there any hope of removing the paint to get the original finish?

Image credits: olivia_noelle15

#46 I Inherited A Neat Lion's Head Cane With A Secret Compartment Containing A Glass Vial For... Storage

Image credits: Zenmetsu-

#47 Thanks Grandad! Tools Cleaned And Oiled And Tool Boxes Refinished. Ready For A Few More Generations

Image credits: LucasAugustus

#48 Today We Inherited My Boyfriend's Grandfather’s Vinyl Collection

Image credits: Almostpetite

#49 I Just Inherited This From My Late Grandfather And I've Not Smiled This Much Since He Left

Image credits: zach171002

#50 My Grandfather's Pencil Sharpener Collection I Inherited

Some backstory behind this: my grandfather died before I was born. My family always told me how genuinely nice and cool he was, even to strangers. Growing up, whenever I visited my grandparents' house, I would see a shelf proudly displaying his collection. My grandmother passed away when I was 18 or 19, and none of my father's six siblings or my father himself were going to claim the collection of sharpeners. I couldn't let it go to waste.

Image credits: mattygraddy

#51 My Grandmother Gifted Me With This Ring A Few Years Before She Passed Away. I Loved It Because It Was From Her, And Because It Was Totally Strange

Recently, I showed my mom and aunt (her daughters), and neither had ever seen it before. I'm guessing it's a treasure my grandfather brought home from his Navy or Merchant Marine adventures. Initially, I thought it was costume jewelry, goldtone cloisonne. However, I recently discovered it's 22k solid gold, enamel-painted, made in Spain in the 1940s or 1950s, which is why I think my grandfather had a hand in this. My grandmother likely gifted it to me because I'm a total water, beach, boat, and fish lover! I've never seen anything like it, but I'm hoping someone else has. Isn't he funky and fierce? Look at those teeth!

Image credits: Kim Wunderlich-Cady

#52 Just Inherited This Pan From My Late Grandfather. He Was 93, This Pan Is At Least 115 Years Old

Image credits: AwkwardGrimace

#53 Almost 100-Year-Old Wine My Grandpa Inherited From His Grandpa. He Dug Out A Few Bottles For An Event Today

Image credits: neverthemood

#54 My Grandfather’s Pocket Watch. I Plan On Fixing It Up And Giving It Back To My Mom

My mom knows my interest in watches and showed me her dad's old pocket watch that my grandmother got for my grandfather for my mom's wedding. It’s not currently running and is missing the crystal and the second hand, but otherwise, in great condition. I’m picking up the hobby of watch repair, so when I become proficient, I’m going to fix it up and give it back to her. A little research shows this as a Waltham Colonial Series Royal. I’ll take off the case in the future and get the serial number to get a more exact date of manufacture. Looking forward to getting this all fixed and running.

Image credits: ShamusNC

#55 It Happened Again. Inherited This From My Grandfather. I Would Like To Get It Replated

Image credits: bluhEwanka

#56 This Lovely Vintage Pendant Was Just Passed Down To Me From My Grandmother. Rose Quartz And Amethyst. It Has A Secret Compartment

Image credits: brittlebittle

#57 I Inherited This Blender From My Grandmother. I Have No Idea How Old It Is, But It Still Runs Like A Top

Image credits: tacosRpeople2

#58 Wife Inherited The Nice Silverware From Her Grandmother. Thought The Little Box Inside Was Silver Polish At First

Image credits: Sinistralas

#59 I Recently Inherited This Gorgeous 8 Mm Film Projector From The 1950s

Image credits: Kado_potato

#60 I Inherited These From My Grandparents. My Grandfather Was In The Air Force And Lived In Japan Post WWII, So I Assume They Are From Japan

Image credits: Crbn8ed

#61 My Grandparents Had This Lamp In Their House Since At Least The Early 70s. Pretty Sure It Was A Ceiling Lamp At One Time, But I Inherited It And Kept It As A Desk Lamp

To my surprise, it’s made from uranium glass.

Image credits: buzzbot235

#62 Cast Iron Grill. I Love Everything About This. Should Survive Multiple Generations Of Use. Super Portable And Versatile. You Can Find Fuel Anywhere

Image credits: snoopsdream

#63 My Ace Liner That I Inherited From My Grandpa. This Version Was Made In The 1960s. Weighing In At 1.4 Lbs, It's Indestructible

Image credits: SpenRob96

#64 Family Heirloom Watch That Was Passed Down To Me. Traces Of The Family Photo Carried On The Back Are Still Visible

Image credits: IncandescentSquid

#65 This Bible That Has Been Passed Down Through My Family Since The 1800s

Image credits: drewvii

#66 My Grandfather Was Stationed In Italy During World War II. He Picked This Up For My Grandmother. I Was Lucky To Inherit This From Them After They Passed Away

My birthstone is sapphire as well, so this is extra special to me. 
We even had our house robbed, but they missed it, thank goodness.

Image credits: Debbie Parchen Duncan

#67 My Pocket Compass Is Engraved “Eng. DEPT. U.S.A. 1918”. Wish I Had Paid More Attention Who Had Owned These Things When My Parents Passed Them On To Me

It’s too late to ask them now. But the compass still points to magnetic north after 99 years!

Image credits: Logybayer

#68 Inherited My Grandfather’s Gym Bag. 1970s Pleather With Riveted-On Handles And Those Old Steel Zippers That Never, Ever Break Open

Image credits: UncleDankBong

#69 I Inherited The Family Pennsylvania Tuxedo

My dad's Woolrich outerwear has kept me warm on many cold hunting days. It's extremely functional and has endured years of walking through brambles and brush. The buffalo check plaid is easy for other hunters to see. Deer can't see red, so it breaks up the silhouette and serves as effective and quiet camouflage.

My dad is okay, he just outgrew it.

Featuring a thrifted HBC eight-point blanket.

Image credits: Tamias-striatus

#70 Antique Vase Inherited From My Grandfather

Does anyone know anything about this? My grandfather lived in Iran and had this since I remember and he passed away at 100 years old in 2020. The stones seem like they are turquoise and maybe agate. Any information is appreciated.

Image credits: CrystalHummingBirdie

#71 My Grandma Recently Passed. This Is What We Inherited From Her

Image credits: deen5526

#72 My Friend’s Ring Watch She Inherited From Her Grandma

Image credits: idgafos2019

#73 My 100-Year-Old Grandma Died In January And I Inherited Her Recipes. We Were Really Close, Shared A Love Of Cooking And I Am Excited To Try Them Out! First Up Is Her Coffee Cake Recipe

Image credits: wcoast191911

#74 A Kennedy Toolbox I Recently Inherited From My Grandpa. He Used It When He Worked For The US Department Of Energy In The 1960s (Back Then It Was The Department Of Atomic Energy)

All drawers slide out flawlessly, and it’s built like a tank. All I had to do was run a wire wheel on some rusty corners and give it a bit of paint. Here’s to 60 more years with this thing!

Image credits: tannerkane

#75 My Dad's Razor From 1976. My Dad Is 66. He Is Still Using It. It's His First-Ever Razor And He Loves It

Image credits: Gifthealvision

#76 She's 60 Years Old And Fabulous. Inherited One Of My Late Grandma's Bags. Not A Designer Bag, Just A Vintage Beauty

Image credits: w33kndxotwod

#77 Inherited This Amazing Chess Set From My Father. Just Thought I'd Share It

Image credits: Naiphe

#78 Inherited This From My Dad

I believe it’s from the ‘86 season. I could be wrong though.

Image credits: rskiarsis

#79 Inherited My Dad's 1975 Targa 911S

My mom got this car as a gift for my dad before I was born (1980s). It only came out on special occasions, sometimes for him to take my mom on a beautiful sunny day date, and it has never seen the rain. It’s bittersweet that it’s now mine. I have great memories riding around in it with him. I’m so honored to take care of it.

Image credits: xPolLuTicOrnx

#80 My Wife Inherited This Table From Her Grandpa. She Thinks It’s Called A "Skittles Table", But Can’t Find Much On What It Is, Or How To Play

Image credits: ghollowell

#81 My Friend Inherited A Narwhal Tusk From His Grandfather

Image credits: SmurfSlurpee

#82 Just Inherited My Great-Grandmother's Kitchen Aid (Hobart) A-9 Coffee Grinder. This Model Was Discontinued In 1947, But It Still Helped Make A Great Cup Of Coffee This Morning

Image credits: micahd98

#83 I've Been Fascinated By This Paperweight Of My Grandpa's For As Long As I Can Remember. Today, I Inherited It

Image credits: sauntimo

#84 When My Grandfather Passed Away, I Inherited His Auto Crawler. I'm Still Using It To Change My Oil After 80 Years

Image credits: testfire10

#85 I Recently Inherited This Very Old Bible From My Grandmother. It's Really Cool - The Cover Is Dimensional With The Gold Areas Protruding

Image credits: lizziecuppcake

#86 This Tree Has Been Passed Down Through Four Generations Of People. I Don't Know The Exact Age, But It Predates 1940

Image credits: SuspiciousPillow

#87 Kitchen Aid By Hobart Coffee Grinder - Inherited From My Parents

Image credits: hcubed3

#88 Zassenhaus Coffee Grinder. Inherited And Used For Decades Almost Everyday

Image credits: Brotimus

#89 One Of These "Bad Boys" From The Early '80s, I Think. Inherited From My Dear Late Grandmother

It has gotten me through several harsh cold snaps during winter as supplemental heat in my bedroom. Bathing in its warmth right now.

Image credits: Defenestrationism

#90 Inherited A Radium Glass Dish From My Late Great-Grandmother

Image credits: jackie_blue6

#91 First I Inherited An Awesome Tankard. Now I Get This Cocktail Shaker With An Awesome Twist

It allows you to select which cocktail you want to make, and it even tells you which ingredients and quantities you need.

Image credits: Crowdfunder101

#92 I Inherited My Great-Grandfather's GE Radio, And It Still Works

Image credits: Malatorpe

#93 This Extremely Rare Double-Sided Couch My Friend Inherited From His Grandfather

Image credits: thenewyorkgod

#94 Craftsman Tool Chest Inherited From My Dad In 2006. It’s Probably 40-50 Years Old

Image credits: PracticalAndContent

#95 Inherited A Vanity Desk Built In 1870, Previously Owned By My Great-Grandmother, Grandmother, And Mother. I Am Grateful

Image credits: 6b6r6

#96 I've Inherited Two Rings, Both Approximately 80-100 Years Old, And They Bear Very Peculiar Symbols

Image credits: AlyssonFromBrazil

#97 30 Years Ago, I Received This As A Gift From My Grandparents. Today, I Get To Pass It On To My Son

Image credits: ShaquielleOFeel

#98 Inherited This Ornate Large... Pendant? Wall Decoration?

Image credits: flamboyantpuree