Woman buys painting for $4 at Thrift Store: Discovers Its astonishing value

Written by Henrik Rothen

Sep.02 - 2023 1:16 PM CET

Photo: Bonhams Skinner
Photo: Bonhams Skinner
She never imagined in a million years that it would be worth SO much

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Six years ago, a woman in Manchester, New Hampshire, stumbled upon a painting at a Savers thrift store.

She was initially looking for frames to refurbish and resell. Unaware of the painting's significance, she purchased it for just $4.

The painting turned out to be a creation by Newell Convers (N.C.) Wyeth, a renowned American artist.

The artwork is scheduled for auction on September 19, with an estimated bidding price ranging from $150,000 to $250,000, according to Bonhams Skinner auction house.

The painting was part of a four-piece series created for the 1939 edition of Helen Hunt Jackson's 1884 novel "Ramona," which explores the life of a Scottish-Indigenous girl living in Southern California post the Mexican-American war.

Wyeth's artwork skillfully captures the tension between Ramona and her stern and imposing foster mother, Señora Moreno.

Wyeth's Legacy

Born in Massachusetts, Wyeth was a prolific artist and illustrator with over 3,000 paintings to his name. He was celebrated for his ability to enhance the drama and character development of accompanying texts through his work.

The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, had the painting hanging in her bedroom for years before it was moved to a closet.

It was only rediscovered in May when she was cleaning her house. She told Bonhams Skinner that she had jokingly thought it was a "real painting," according to the Boston Globe.

The auction house believes that Wyeth himself likely chose the frame as a basic molding to protect the edges and corners of his works as they traveled by train from his studio in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, to publishers in Philadelphia or New York.

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