Photo: The Potomack Company
A painting by renowned French Impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir was snapped up at a U.S. flea market for less than $50, according to The Potomack Company, an auctioneer.The painting was included in a box lot with a Paul Bunyan doll and a plastic cow at the Shenandoah Valley flea market.
The anonymous owner took the painting to the Virginia auction house where experts believe it may be Renoir’s Paysage Bords de Seine from 1879, a river scene bought from a Paris gallery in 1926 by international lawyer Herbert L. May.
Today, it is expected the painting could fetch as much as $100,000. The 5.5-by-9-inch painting will be auctioned off by The Potomack Company at the end of this month.
The owner first stored the painting in a white plastic bag in a shed, later in her car’s trunk, and eventually in her kitchen. She decided she liked the look of the frame and planned to reuse it. She began tearing off the brown paper on the back, but stopped when her mother advised the painting might be worth something after noticing the ‘Renoir’ plaque on the frame.
This news comes right on the heels of an Ohio man who bought a Picasso at a thrift store back in March for $14.14, and sold it to a private buyer for $7,000. Not long after, art collector Andy Fields discovered a sketch by Andy Warhol at a garage sale that could be worth up to $2.1 million.
That sound you hear is thousands of people rushing to the nearest flea market.
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