GREAT STORIES about finding fortunes

616x510$4 PICTURE holds $2.4 MILLION DECLARATION

A collector who spent $4 at a Pennsylvania flea market two years ago for a dismal painting because he liked the frame now finds himself the possessor of a first printing of the Declaration of Independence.

The discovery was announced yesterday by David N. Redden, head of the book and manuscript department at Sotheby’s in Manhattan. Mr. Redden described the document, found behind the painting when the collector took the frame apart, as an “unspeakably fresh copy” of the declaration. “The fact that it has been in the backing of the frame preserved it,” he said. Of the 24 copies known to survive, only 3 are in private hands, he added.

Mr. Redden said the unidentified owner bought the painting, “a dismal dark country scene with a signature he could not make out,” for its gilded and ornately carved frame. He told Mr. Redden that he discarded the painting, which he disliked. When he realized the frame was crudely made and unsalvageable, he said he got rid of it also.

“But he kept the declaration, which he had found behind the painting,” Mr. Redden said. “It was folded up, about the size of a business envelope. He thought it might be an early 19th-century printing and worth keeping as a curiosity.”

Recently the owner showed it to a friend “who became quite enthusiastic and urged him to look into it further,” said Selby Kiffer, an Americana printing specialist at Sotheby’s “At that point he called us.”

“The discovery of any first-printing copy of the declaration, even a fragmentary one or a poor copy, would be exciting,” Mr. Kiffer said. “But on this one, the condition is beyond reproach. It was folded up when we first saw it — the way the owner said it was in the painting, less than one-tenth of an inch thick. I had to agree with him it was just as well that he kept it that way.

“There has been absolutely no restoration, no repair. It was unframed and unbacked.” Only 7 of the 24 copies are unbacked, he said, which increases their value.  -taken from nytimes, 1991 article

I just saw this story on Mysteries at the Museum & they mentioned that the print went for $2.4 Million (highest auction item ever)

 

horton1ART ANYONE?

If you’re not an art connoisseur, it looks a lot like a bunch of squiggly lines on a page. But to an expert, it’s a stunning find – an original Jackson Pollock, an American painter and an artist considered a master of abstract expressionism.

How this painting came to be on display and up for sale in a local Toronto gallery is the stuff of legend. You may remember the unbelievable story surrounding a woman named Teri Horton, a retired truck driver who loved to frequent thrift shops around North America. When she entered one of them in California in the 1990s, she spotted a picture lying unused in a corner, a piece of artwork that no one seemed to want.

She hated it but thought it was funny. And she was going to buy it for her depressed friend. And she brought it to the counter and the lady said it was $8 and Teri said she’s willing to pay $5, she doesn’t love her friend that much. They were planning on drinking some beers and throwing darts at it. But a friend of hers was dating an art teacher and he looked at it and said ‘you very well may have a Jackson Pollock on your hands.’

And she came back with the statement ‘Who the F is Jackson Pollock?’ And it all began from there. That statement became the name of a 2006 documentary featuring her story, including her struggles to prove her five buck painting was really the masterpiece many claimed it was. It was finally authenticated and now there’s no doubt about its value.The painting has since been assessed as being worth a stunning $50 million, surely the greatest flea market bargain in history.   -taken from Oddee.com

 

magnolias-on-gold-velvet-cloth-1890One day, an employee at a tool-and-die company in Indiana spent $30 for a few pieces of used furniture and an old painting of some flowers and decided to strategically hang the picture to cover up a hole in the wall that had been bugging him.

Some years later he was playing a board game called Masterpiece in which players attempt to outbid one another for artwork at an auction. Much to his surprise, one of the cards in the game featured a painting of flowers that looked a lot like the one he had on his wall. He found that his painting was similar in style to the work of Martin Johnson Heade, an American still-life artist best known for landscapes and flower arrangements.

He asked the Kennedy Galleries in Manhattan, which handles many of Heade’s works, to take a look at his painting. They verified that the piece of artwork covering the hole in his wall was a previously unknown Heade painting, since named Magnolias on Gold Velvet Cloth. In 1999, The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston purchased the painting for $1.2 million dollars.  -taken from Oddee.com

 

MORE If you liked these stories, here is another link to many other thrift store finds that were incredible treasures. Wow!  http://boredomtherapy.com/incredible-thrift-store-finds/

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