Woman buys super-rare painting for $4 only to discover it’s worth a massive 6 figures

Published on Sep 08, 2023 at 3:25 PM (UTC+4)
by Adam Gray

Last updated on Sep 11, 2023 at 1:49 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Kate Bain

Woman buys super-rare painting for $4 only to discover it’s worth a massive 6 figures

Savvy shoppers head to their local thrift store every day in search of a bargain.

But few are as lucky as one woman in the US, who got a lot more than she bargained for when she purchased a painting for $4.

Little did she know how much the unassuming dusty painting was really worth.

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The funny thing is, the woman didn’t visit the thrift shop in New Hampshire in search of a painting.

In fact, she hoped she would find a nice frame and, among the old posters and damaged prints, a framed dusty painting stood out.

After some brief research online failed to identify the work, she stored it in her closet.

The painting was totally forgotten about until a few months ago when she stumbled across it during a spring clean.

That’s when she decided to post the work to the Facebook group “Things Found in Walls”.

Soon enough, she was connected with Lauren Lewis, an art conservator based in Maine, and her excitement seemed to suggest she may have been accidentally storing something special.

It quickly became clear that the simple frame was of much lesser value than the striking scene within, which was revealed to be by the renowned painter and illustrator N.C. Wyeth.

The American painter, who was born in 1882 and died in 1945, enjoyed a multi-decade career producing illustrations for periodicals and novelists.

The thrift shop painting has been identified as one of four possible cover designs for a 1939 edition of Helen Hunt Jackson’s novel Ramona.

The novel tells the life story of a fictional girl of mixed Scottish and Native American heritage, who was orphaned shortly after the Mexican-American War ended in 1848.

Wyeth’s painting portrays a tense moment in the plot when Romana takes on a defiant pose against her adoptive mother Señora Gonzaga Moreno.

It’s not yet known how the artwork ended up in a thrift shop, but it’s about to hit the auction block in a few weeks’ time.

The painting, which will form part of an American art sale at Bonhams, has been given an estimate of $150,000 to $250,000.

Surely, that’s one of the best thrift finds of the century?

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Adam Gray

Adam Gray is an experienced motoring journalist and content creator based in the United Kingdom. Using his media accreditation with manufacturers’ press offices, Adam test drives the latest cars and attends new vehicle press launches, producing written reviews and news pieces for supercarblondie.com. Before joining the Supercar Blondie team, Adam was Motoring Editor for Portfolio North magazine, North East Motoring Editor at Reach plc, and provided motoring content on a freelance basis to several lifestyle and business publications in the North of England. When he’s not behind the wheel of the latest car, Adam can be found at his local rink playing ice hockey or supporting his beloved Middlesbrough FC.