I once overheard him described as a mash of Gene Simmons and Indiana Jones, that he put the Rock and Roll back into history, archeology and adventure. In a short time he became somewhat of a legend to many, and his exploits and charismatic personality easily earned him the right to that single name recognition of “Billy”. Billy Jamieson however never got the chance to really bask in his glory and celebrate the phenomenal success of his television show that would inspire millions of people around the globe. In 2011, Shortly after production on his television series Treasure Trader ended, the modern-day treasure hunter and “Master of the Macabre” suffered a heart attack on his 57th birthday and died. In honour of his life and memories the decision was made to air that one and only season to virtually instant success. A single season was never enough and the fan base continues to grow today for an incredible man who lives on in myth and legend as much as memory. Now, five years later, The History Channel has given Treasure Trader a second life, a chance for a new audience to be captivated by the curiosities, oddities, and larger-than-life persona of the one and only Billy Jamieson.
With the aid of his partner Jessica Lindsay Phillips, Treasure Trader captures Billy’s exploits in the worlds of mummies, shrunken heads, human skulls, tribal artifacts, and much more. Under Billy’s tenure as curator of the Niagara Falls Museum, it was discovered that the mummy of Pharaoh Ramesses I, which had been missing for over 150 years, was an unidentified part of the collection, and never would have been discovered if Billy hadn’t facilitated the sale of mummies to the Michael C. Carlos Museum in Atlanta, Georgia.
Billy may not have had been able to enjoy the fruits of his labour and watch as his show played on televisions across the nation, but he didn’t need to. He was living in the world of the strange and the exotic all the time, and he loved every minute of it. If The History Channel’s re-airing of Treasure Tracker can do only one thing, we hope it is that it inspires people to be as passionate and unique as Billy was.
Cabinet of Curiosities has been lucky enough to work closely with Jessica over the past several years and is proud to count her amongst friends of the Cabinet and particularly Mark the owner. Over these past years together they’ve made it possible to bring an incredible selection of Billy’s collection to display and for sale. The website will soon be undergoing a dramatic refresh and invigorating transformation and we look forward to having Billy’s legacy as part of our future. Celebrating the life of Billy Jamieson, one of the world’s most enigmatic treasure hunters.