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.
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?