Three Pieces of Valuable Art, Which Were Found in Random Places

Three Pieces of Valuable Art, Which Were Found in Random Places

Did you know that countless pieces of valuable art and antiques were forgotten or lost in dumpsters, thrift stores, and even couches to be discovered years later purely by accident? Here are three examples of such findings.

Three Pieces of Valuable Art, Which Were Found in Random Places

“Preparation to Escape to Egypt,” Unknown Venetian Artist

In 2007, a German student found a small painting hidden between the folds of a couch she bought at a flea market for $215. The piece titled “Preparation to Escape to Egypt” was recognized by experts as the work of an artist who was part of the inner circle of Carlo Saraceni, a well-known Venetian painter. They attested that it was painted in the early 17th century. The painting was later bought at an auction in Hamburg for $27,630, which is 100 times more than what the student spent on it.

“Tres Personajes,” Rufino Tamayo

New York is often referred to as the center of the art world, and for a good reason. There, one can stumble upon valuable art even while taking out the trash. In 2003, a woman named Elizabeth Gibson found a painting lying in a dumpster in Manhattan. The thrown-out piece was a painting by the Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo, titled “Tres Personajes.” It turned out that it was stolen when its previous owners were moving and considered lost for years. The woman said she did not know anything about modern art but decided to bring it home with her anyway. When she turned the painting in, it sold for over a million dollars.

Untitled, Jackson Pollock (Supposedly)

This story is a little more ambiguous. The retired truck driver Teri Horton found a painting in a thrift store and bought it for $5. When a local art teacher saw the artwork and suggested that it could be a piece by Jackson Pollock, the woman famously replied, “Who the **** is Jackson Pollock?” Since auction houses refused to help Horton find out the truth, she turned to forensic experts who discovered fingerprints on the canvas, matching those of Pollock. To this day, there is no clear-cut agreement on whether the painting is authentic, even though there is some evidence pointing toward a positive answer.

While the chance of finding an authentic Pollack when browsing your local thrift store is probably less than one in a million, we suggest that you keep an eye for beauty everywhere you go. You never know when you may find something truly one-of-a-kind.