The Painting That Was Purchased for $4 Was Sold for $191,000 at an Auction
The painting, which an American woman bought for $4 and kept in her closet for several years, turned out to be the work of the famous illustrator N.C. Wyeth and was sold at an auction for $191,000.
This was reported by The New York Times, which interviewed the owner of the painting.
The woman from Manchester, New Hampshire, USA, visited a thrift store in the city back in 2017 and came across an interesting painting. She purchased the artwork for a symbolic sum of $4. Five years later, it turned out that the author of the canvas was the renowned American illustrator N.C. Wyeth, and the painting was worth $191,000.
Initially, after buying the painting, the woman hung it in her bedroom, but later she stashed it away in her closet, where it remained for several years. In the spring of 2023, the owner accidentally retrieved the painting from the closet and noticed a label with a signature on the back.
The woman decided to post several photos of the painting and the back of the frame on her Facebook page.
This post caught the attention of Lauren Lewis, an art collector. Eventually, he got in touch with the owner of the painting and arranged a meeting. In just a few hours, the woman and her husband drove to meet Lewis at the bus terminal.
After inspecting the painting, Lewis was excited and informed the couple that they had hidden a real treasure in their closet. The collector was impressed that the painting's history had unfolded in such an "incredible way."
The painting, which was accidentally bought for $4, turned out to be an authentic oil panel by Newell Convers Wyeth, one of the renowned American illustrators of the 20th century, who visualized classic stories such as "Treasure Island," "Robin Hood," and "Robinson Crusoe."
The painting is titled "Ramona" and is one of four images in a series that Wyeth created in 1939 for the novel by Helen Hunt Jackson - "Ramona." The novel tells the story of an orphan who lives in Southern California after the Mexican-American war.
The illustration, featuring "Senora Gonzaga Moreno and Ramona," depicts the tension between the woman and her adopted daughter.
Some experts believe that the painting was most likely a gift from book publishers to the book's editor, but how the canvas ended up in a thrift store in Manchester is unknown.
Last week, the painting was sold at an auction for $191,000. The happy former owner decided to purchase a copy of "Ramona" as a keepsake and plans to travel to Europe.