The Amber Room
The Amber Room is a room that was built in the Catherine Palace sometime in the 18th century near St. Petersburg, specifically in Tsarskoe Selo. It was dubbed "The Amber Room" due to its contents being covered in gold leaf as well as many of the panels being constructed using around 1,000 pounds of actual amber. This gave the room an incredible golden glow as well as made it seem extremely regal.
However, in 1941, Germany captured Tsarskoe Selo during World War II and they took all of the contents with them, never to be seen again. However, there is now a replica at the Catherine Palace.
Romanov Faberge Eggs
There were about 50 different Faberge eggs ornately decorated to be "Easter eggs" for the Russian imperial family between 1885 and 1916 by a company run by Russian jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé. However, after the execution of the Romanov family, the eggs disappeared. According to the Faberge website, the eggs were "the ultimate achievement of the renowned Russian jewelry house and must also be considered the last great commissions of objets d'art."
"Ten eggs were produced from 1885 to 1893, during the reign of Emperor Alexander III; 40 more were created during the rule of his dutiful son, Nicholas II, two each year, one for his mother, the dowager, the second for his wife"
The Sarcophagus Of Menkaure
The Egyptian Pharoah Menkaure rested for a long time in the smallest of the three pyramids that were built in Giza more than 4,500 years ago. That was until an English military officer attempted to ship the sarcophagus out in 1838 aboard the merchant ship Beatrice. On its journey, however, it sank to the bottom of the sea never to be seen again. And there it will lie until it is found again.
That is if it is ever found again. That being said, it may still be possible to recover the artifact with minimal damage to the sarcophagus, although that's a bit hopeful.
The Ark Of The Covenant
The Ark of the Covenant is said to house the original tablets that have the 10 commandments engraved into them. It was kept for a long time in the First Temple, the structure that was the original holy sight that the Western Wall and its undestroyed variation is a recreation of. However, ever since that temple was destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar II and his Babylonian army, the Ark has not been seen.
There are, however, many theories as to where it may be. There is even an Ethiopian church that claims to have the ark in its possession. However, not many are allowed access so it remains to be proven as the true Ark.
Honjo Masamune Sword
There are many different Masamune swords, all created by the famous blacksmith Goro Nyudo Masamune who lived somewhere between the 13th and 14th centuries. There was one, however, that was deemed to be one of his greatest works and quite possibly one of the best Japanese swords in existence. It was passed down from Shogun to Shogun during the Edo Period and was even made one of Japan's national treasures in 1939.
However, in 1946, it was handed over to a man named Sgt. Coldy Bimore and was never seen again. It was later found out that there were no records of this exchange nor of any man with that name.
The Lost Library Of The Moscow Tsars
The Lost Library Of The Moscow Tsars, also known as The Lost Library Of Ivan The Terrible or The Golden Library, was a library that supposedly held a huge collection of Greek texts and texts of other languages dating back to ancient times. The rulers of The Grand Duchy of Moscow were supposed to have built the library which became a big facility by the 16th century.
However, there are many reports that Ivan the Terrible was able to hide all of the library's texts somewhere, but all of the attempts to find the hidden library have all failed.
Ireland's Crown Jewels
The crown jewels of Ireland were stolen from the library of Dublin Castle in 1907. According to a historian and project manager at University College Cork, the crown jewels of Ireland were "not connected with any coronation ceremony and included no crown. Rather, they comprised a jeweled star of the Order of St. Patrick and a diamond brooch and five gold collars of that order, all Crown property".
The security was blamed for the theft and there were plenty of people who were suspected of conducting the heist. However, they never found the person responsible, nor did they find the crown jewels.
Sappho's Lost Poems
Long before Shakespeare, there was another who was prized in much the same way. Around the 7th century B.C, the lyric poet Sappho was considered to be one of the best poets of all time. However, barely any of her poems survive to this day and many of them have been lost to the ages. There are a couple, though, that were revealed by papyrologists at The University of Oxford.
Still, the few we have in our possession are little compared to the vast collection of works that she created. Unfortunately, we may never get a chance to recover her lost works.
Former Lisbon Bishop's Treasure
A little more than halfway through the 14th century, a ship called the São Vicente set sail from Lisbon carrying a treasure that was collected by the then recently deceased bishop. Some of the treasures included gold, silver, jewels, tapestries, and portable alters. It was eventually attacked by two pirate ships when traveling near what is now Spain and had all of the contents stolen from the ship.
Despite an attack to try to capture the pirate ships, the one carrying the stolen treasure managed to get away. It is still unknown as to what happened to the ship and its contents.
The Just Judges
This panel is part of a work of art painted by Hubert and Jan van Eyck. What's left of the artwork is located in the Saint Bavo Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium. It depicts a few people on horseback, though the identity of these people is still undetermined, however, one of the characters in the panel is most likely Philip the Good who was, at the tie, the Duke of Burgundy.
The panel was stolen in 1934 and has since remained missing. There have been a number of reported tips as to the whereabouts of the piece and the case file is still open.
The Florentine Diamond
This incredible diamond is about 133 carats in weight. It is supposed to be the largest pink gem of its type in the world according to some historians. In 1918, it was in the possession of the Habsburg royal family. Then it was given to an Austrian lawyer by the name of Bruno Steiner to help sell it while it remained in a bank vault in Switzerland. But what happened next remains a mystery.
According to a news report from 1924, the lawyer was accused of stealing it and arrested but was later acquitted of the crime. It could be that it was recut into a bunch of smaller diamonds after World War I.
The Battle of Anghiari Painting
This mural depicting the 1440 victory over Milan during the Battle of Anghiari by the Italian League was painted by Leonardo da Vinci in 1505. It was kept in the town hall of Florence, but by 1563 it had disappeared during a remodeling by painter Giorgio Vasari. But in 2012, a team of experts in art conducted research and discovered evidence that it may not have been missing at all.
Rather, it may have been that a mural done by Giorgio Vasari had simply been painted over the original. The results, however, couldn't be confirmed and the research was put on indefinite hold.
Menorah From The Second Temple
While the Jewish people remained under Roman rule, an uprising was held to try to free them sometime between 66 and 74 A.D. However, they were defeated in their attempt and the Second Temple was destroyed in the process. Many of the treasures won by the Romans in the battle were carried off and one of the things included was the menorah, a candlestick with six branches and a middle stand.
However, what happened to it after it was taken to Rome remains to be known. There is a scene depicted in the Arch of Titus in Rome that shows it being carried over, so despite being gone the evidence of its existence in Rome is clear.
Copper Scroll Treasures
One of the more interesting of the Dead Sea Scrolls is the one that has text engraved into a sheet of copper. The Copper Scroll is currently in a museum in Jordan but what is written on it is supposed to be a description of a real or legendary treasure. However, the treasure described in the scroll has never been found and there's no proof that it even still exists.
There are scholars who believe that the treasures described were hidden before the Romans destroyed the Second Temple. Unfortunately, it seems like we may never get the answers that we seek.
Isabella Steward Gardner Museum Stolen Art
The art in this museum was stolen on March 18th, 1990 when two people dressed as police officers broke into the museum and stole more than $500 million worth of art. Some of the works included were five pieces from the Fench artist Edgar Degas as well as three others from the Dutch artist Rembrandt. The thieves and the missing art were never found but could be highly damaged or ruined.
And even if anyone were to find it, there wouldn't really be much use to selling it as it would be so easily recognizable that anyone involved could get into serious legal trouble.
The Peking Man is a name that was given to a set of fossils belonging to a hominid that was discovered in a cave close to the village of Zhoukoudian in China. It is called as such because the location is near Beijing which, in 1923 when the fossil was discovered, was what the city was called in English. However, the fossils were lost in 1941 during the Japanese invasion of China.
It's speculated that they may have been lost at sea while being transported to the United States. Curiously, some people even suspect that they are buried underneath a parking lot in China.
The Q Source
The Q Source is a hypothetical written collection of sayings from Jesus Christ himself. The two-source hypothesis goes that the Gospels of Mark and Luke were each written using multiple different sources, including the Q source, which has common material found in both gospels, and the Gospel of Mark. Because there are passages in both gospels that are identical to each other but don't show up in any other source, it is thought that the Q Source exists somewhere.
Obviously, this has yet to be confirmed. Even if it did, it's highly probable that anything that would be able to site the source or any copies of it probably haven't survived.
Lake Toplitz Gold
There are rumors that there is a vast amount of gold hidden in the Austrian lake Toplitz. The legend goes that near the end of World War II, SS officer Ernst Kaltenbrunner and the Nazi forces led by him dumped the gold into the lake. However, there were extensive searches done to find the gold and none have been able to turn up anything at all. Not that we're surprised.
In all likelihood, there was never any gold to begin with. However, some researchers have pointed out that the poor visibility and the sheer amount of things in the water make it hard to find and potentially dangerous. Some have already died trying to find the treasure.
Portrait Of A Young Man Painting
This painting, known as "Portrait of a Young Man" was painted by the famous Italian artist Raphael. When exactly this painting was made is unknown and so is the identity of the man in the portrait. When the German army invaded Poland in 1939, this painting was being held in the Czartoryski Museum in Krakow and Nazi officials decided to steal the painting to place in the Linz Art Gallery.
However, it never made it there because the museum was never built. It was last seen in 1945 in Hanz Frank's chalet in Germany. However, he was sentenced to death and the painting was never seen again.
The Royal Casket
Despite its name, this was not a casket made for a royal family member to be buried in upon their death. This casket instead held a collection of artifacts from the many royal families that had ruled Poland. Among the artifacts were paintings, jewels, and other important items held dear by many people. As it turns out, this was yet another unfortunate loss caused by the invasion of the Nazis in 1939.
Not only was the treasure lost, but so was the casket. The only thing left of it is the picture you see above and we may never see any of it ever again.
Love Labour's Won
If you know anything about Shakespeare, you probably already know that this title shares an almost identical name with one of his other comedies "Love Labour's Lost". "Love Labour's Won" was supposedly a potential sequel to the former title. However, no known copies remain to this day. The first evidence that he wrote this play was in this excerpt from Francis Meres' "Palladis Tamia, Wits Treasury" from 1598:
There are some theories that speculate that all the records of "Love Labour's Won" referred to his other play "Much Ado About Nothing" and one company even retitled a performance of the lay to match this theory.
The Christian gospels of Mark, Luke, Matthew, and John are the oldest surviving copies of the canonical Christian Gospels. however, they all date back to the 2nd century A.D. Many scholars wonder, then, where all of the records from the 1st century are since they believe the gospels were originally written in the latter half of the 2nd century. The mystery might remain for a very long time.
That being said, there were some scholars back in 2015 that reported they had found a part of the Gospel of Mark inside a mummy's mask which was dated to the first century. It has yet to be published, however.
Mask Of A Faun
If you don't know what a faun is, it is basically a mythical creature that is half human and half goat. The famous Italian artist Michelangelo made a mask out of marble that is supposed to depict this mythological creature. Until it was stolen in 1944 from Castello di Poppi in Tuscany it was owned by the Bargello museum in Florence, Italy. The people who stole it were soldiers from the German army's 305th division.
It was put on a truck sometime on August 22nd or 23rd. According to the Monument's Men Foundation, "After a short stop in Forli, Italy, the 10th Army truck containing this work of art and others continued on Aug. 31". It has yet to be found.
Nativity With St. Francis and St. Lawrence Painting
"Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence" was painted in 1609 by another Italian painter known as Caravaggio. It depicts the birth of Jesus emphasizing the poverty of his birth with him being laid across a haystack. It was in the care of a chapel in Palermo, Italy when it was stolen in 1969. No one knows who stole it, but there are suspicions that it was members of the Sicilian mafia.
Although it has never been found, there were efforts to fill in the hole that this incident left. In 2015, a replica of the painting was unveiled to replace the original in the chapel.
Leda and the Swan Painting
It seems like paintings get lost a lot and unfortunately for Michelangelo, this would be the second of his works on this list to have disappeared. At the very least, it says something about the quality of his work. This painting depicts a scene in Roman mythology where the god Jupiter seduced the queen of Sparta, Leda, after transforming into a swan leading to the birth of Helen of Troy.
There were quite a few copies made that survive to this day, but the original is nowhere to be seen and no one knows why. Perhaps it was destroyed due to the explicit nature of the work.
Jules Rimet Cup
This treasure was actually stolen on more than one occasion in its history. Named after the founder of the World Cup tournament, Jules Rimet, it was to be awarded to the team that won the 1966 FIFA World Cup in England. However, it was stolen before the World Cup even began. It was later recovered by a dog named Pickles who even gained a cult following for his heroics that day.
It was eventually stolen again after being won by England's team. Then, in 1970, it was won by Brazil after they had won the cup for the third time, but it was stolen again in 1983 never to be seen again. A replica was made in 1984.
Treasures of Nimrud
Nimrud was an ancient city that was the capital city of the Assyrian Empire during the rule of Ashurnasirpal II between 883 and 859 B.C. It is located in modern-day Iraq. Many treasures had been kept there for many years, but when ISIS took over the ancient city and started to blow up parts of the city and bulldoze others, they had gotten lost, completely damaged, and even looted.
Some of the treasures still exist and many of the damaged ones can either be reconstructed or repaired, but the act of the matter is that many are gone for good or waiting to turn up again.
George Mallory's Lost Camera
On June 8th, 1924, two British explorers were climbing Mt. Everest before disappearing forever. It's possible that they were doomed by a storm that came as they made their final push to the summit. One of the men, George Mallory, brought with him a camera. His body was found in 1999 appearing to have died from a fall. Whether they managed to reach the top is still up for debate.
It's possible that the camera is still with the other explorer, Andrew Irvine, whose body has yet to be found. But because freezing temperatures helps to preserve film, it may be possible to restore some of the captured footage.
The Life of General Villa Film (1914)
"The Life of General Villa" was a film about Francisco "Pancho" Villa who was in a series of battles against Mexico's leaders. While the man in the film is real (he lived between 1878 and 1923) the film itself is highly fictionalized, yet featured real footage of the battles fought by Villa and his men. The film was released and shown publicly but was eventually lost to who knows what.
And it's probably a good thing too; not long after the movie, Villa killed several Americans after crossing into New Mexico and became an enemy of The United States of America.
The Story Of The Kelly Gang Film (1906)
Thought to be the first full-length feature film in cinema history, "The Story of The Kelly Gang" ran over an hour and depicted the story of Ned Kelly, a 19th-century outlaw. It first opened in Melbourne in 1906 and became a huge success. The movie was even so influential that it inspired some children to break into a photography studio for money and to also bail out some school kids at gunpoint.
However, because the film was never preserved, only some publicity material and a couple of photographs remained by 1970. This is really unfortunate as it is a huge part of cinema's relatively short history.
The Three Brothers
This piece of jewelry was created in the late 14th century and consisted of three red rectangular spinels surrounding a central blue diamond. There have been a number of important figures to own and wear this piece, including Duke John the Fearless of Burgundy, who commissioned it and kept it as crown jewels for over 100 years, then it was passed to one of the richest men in history, Jakob Fugger.
It was also kept by Edward VI and became part of the Crown Jewels of England for nearly a century and was worn by Queen Elizabeth I and King James VI and I. They disappeared in 1645 after Charles I's wife attempted to sell them.
Another treasure with the name of a type of sibling, these two "sisters" weren't jewelry, however, but rather a pair of cannons. They were used in the Texas Revolution by the Texas Military Forces and are some of the most important pieces of artillery in Texas history because they pretty much ended the revolution. Their importance and subsequent disappearance only made them more famous, becoming known as the "Texas Holy Grail".
There have been a few theories as to their disappearance, which includes being lost to quicksand, being buried in the forest, and being melted by scrap by the Union Army.
This necklace was created in 1928 by The House of Cartier, so you can expect them to be quite valuable, fi them being on this list hasn't already convinced you of that. The necklace was made up of 2,930 diamonds, including the centerpiece--the seventh-largest diamond at the time, known as the "De Beers". The diamond is even the largest cushion-cut yellow diamond in the world. It was originally made for Bhupinder Singh of Patiala.
The "De Beers" diamond eventually made a reappearance in 1982 after the necklace disappeared from the Royal Treasury of Patiala around 1948. Another part of the necklace showed up in a second-hand store in London in 1998, and The House Of Cartier bought it and restored some of the pieces to become a replica.
Royal Jewels From The Dresden Green Vault
On November 25th, 2019, the royal jewels that were of great importance to the Stae of Saxony were stolen from the Green Vault museum in the Dresden Castle in Saxony, Germany. Of the items stolen were the 49-carat Dresden White Diamond, belonging to the King of Poland, a hat clasp adorned with a 16-carat diamond, a diamond epaulet, and a diamond-studded sword hilt containing 779 diamonds, along with a matching scabbard.
The total value was estimated to be just shy of a billion dollars, but the cultural significance was obviously impossible to put a price on. An Israeli security company claimed the jewels were being sold on the dark web in 2020, but Germany rejected the claim.
The Sword Of Islam
This sword was a ceremonial sword created in 1937 and awarded to Benito Mussolini, who was declared the "Protector of Islam". However, after 1937, the sword was no longer used and was instead put into protective care at Rocca delle Caminate and placed in a small glass reliquary. However, this obviously wasn't going to last long, as every single item on this list has to have been stolen or lost at least once.
And sure enough, it disappeared after 25 July 1943, when the Italian resistance plundered and ravaged Rocca delle Caminate, Mussolini's summer residence. It is likely to never be seen again.