Woman Buys Original Renoir for $7
A Virginia woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, recently shocked experts at Alexandria-based Potomack Co. auction house when she brought in an authentic Pierre-August Renoir painting after purchasing it at a flea market for $7.
The woman originally believed the painting to be a fake and bought it as part of a box containing a Paul Bunyan doll and decorative plastic cow. She decided to keep it because she liked its golden frame. After having it reviewed by the auction company, she was astonished to discover the painting was genuine and would likely fetch $100,000 or more at auction.
Image courtesy of The Potomack Company
“I really didn't believe it,” the woman told interviewers, “I was a little floored.”
The painting, which features an image of the Seine river, is in Renoir's famous impressionistic style and titled “Paysage Bords de Seine” (Landscape on the Banks of the Seine). It is said to have been painted more than 130 years ago, and “fills in a mysterious gap in the history of the painting,” which was bought from a Paris gallery in 1926 by Herbert L. May.
The woman who bought the painting originally stored it in a white plastic bag in her shed and then the trunk of her car before keeping it in her kitchen. “I was just glad that while I had the painting for so long my house didn't catch on fire and I wasn't rear-ended by a tractor-trailer or that the birds didn't tear it up,” she said.
The 5.5 by 9 inch painting is set to be auctioned off at the end of this month by The Potomack Company. “This is definitely an extraordinary case,” said Potomack's owner Elizabeth Wainstein, “I've been in the business for 25 years, and we spend our lives chasing the end of a rainbow like this.”
What was your greatest flea market or yard sale find?+5
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