Woman Finds Famous Renoir Painting At Flea Market
She Payed Only $60
Most people dismiss garage sales and flea markets as just piles of useless junk. But they don't see the true value behind those trinkets: There's treasure in them hills! A woman in Virginia struck it rich at a flea market when she found a genuine Renoir painting worth nearly $100,000.
The woman, who has asked to keep her identity secret, made a once-in-a-lifetime discovery when the box of random art items she bought for $60 turned out to contain a piece by famous French painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
"What had actually caught her eye in the box wasn't the valuable Renoir but a plastic cow and a Paul Bunyan doll. She stored the rest of the box's contents first in a white plastic bag in a shed, later in her car's trunk and eventually in her kitchen," Anne Norton Craner, the Potomack Company fine arts specialist, said in a news release.
The unnamed woman said she was "more interested in the frame than the landscape, and started taking it apart."
But after discovering the painting had a plaque with Renoir's name, the woman decided to have it appraised. Art experts soon confirmed that it was indeed the long lost "Paysage Bords de Seine," a painting last seen in the possession of a lawyer in Paris in 1926.
So what is it worth? Appraisers put the value at anywhere between $75,000 and $100,000, even though some of Renoir's works have sold for much more. Last year one of his landscapes sold for a whopping $15 million.