5 valuable pieces of art that were found quite by accident
When by chance (or not quite) people find a picture of a famous artist, a manuscript or diaries of a famous writer, then this event is covered by all the world’s media. After all, a find can cost millions of dollars. It often happened that valuable artifacts were found in private collections, in hiding places and even in storage rooms. But in this review, “a dozen” of valuable finds, which were made in the most unexpected places.
1. Nazi treasure in a tiny apartment
In 2012, police discovered a collection of more than 1,300 works of art in a small apartment in Munich. Most of the work was considered destroyed during the Nazi rule in Germany. The collection belonged to an art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt, who during the Second World War used his position as an intermediary in the sale of works of art abroad to hide and sell a huge number of paintings.
The works, most of which appear to have been legally acquired, were inherited by his son Cornelius Gurlit. Cornelius kept most of the works of art in his small apartment, selling them only when he needed money. After his death in May 2014, most of the works of art went to the museum in Switzerland.
The police made the discovery after Cornelius was detained on a train, and with him they found 9,000 euros. Given that he was unemployed, the tax authorities received a warrant to search his apartment. During the search and found this treasure.
2. Painting in the sofa
In 2007, a German student in Berlin bought a couch at a flea market. When she laid out the sofa at home, she found a small oil painting in the inner drawer. It turned out that it was a canvas entitled “Preparing to Flee to Egypt” by an unknown author (although it is believed that the artist was close to the Venetian painter Carlo Saraceni). The painting was painted between 1605 and 1620.
Subsequently, “Preparing to Flee to Egypt” was purchased at auction in Hamburg by an anonymous buyer for $ 27,630, which brought the student 100 times more money than she paid for the sofa.
3. Painting Tamayo in a pile of garbage
A resident of New York, who was walking along Manhattan in 2003, accidentally noticed a picture lying in a garbage can. Elizabeth Gibson did not know anything about modern art, but she liked the picture, and she took it home. A woman for 4 years trying to find out what kind of canvas, until she finally saw the site on which it was mentioned at the exhibition Antiques Roadshow.
The painting was made by Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo, who died in 1991. The work “Three Characters” was written in 1970 and previously belonged to an anonymous collector from Houston. It was stolen during the move, and has since been considered lost. Upon learning of this, Elizabeth brought him to Sotheby’s, where she received a reward from the owner in the amount of $ 15,000 for his search, as well as a reward from the auction house (its size was not disclosed).
4. Golden Buddha inside the statue
A giant Buddha statue, 4.8 meters high and weighing about 5.5 tons, dating from the XIII or XIV century, was taken to various temples for many years before it finally settled in Wat Trimita in Thailand. This temple was not large enough for a huge sculpture to fit inside, so it was placed outside, under a tin roof.
In 1954, the temple was expanded, and the statue decided to move inside, but at the same time it was accidentally dropped on the floor. Workers found that the plaster was partially chipped at one of the corners of the statue, and metal glittered beneath it. After careful removal of the rest of the plaster, it was found that the statue is actually made of gold.
At some point in the past, the statue was covered with plaster and painted. Scientists have suggested that this was done specifically against thefts in order to hide the real value of the statue. Over time, people have forgotten about the golden sculpture under the plaster, believing that this is just another ordinary statue.
5. Jackson Pollock painting at the thrift store
In the 1990s, former truck driver Teri Horton walked into a thrift store and saw a strange picture there. After a bit of bargaining, she hit the price from $ 7 to $ 5 and bought a canvas, intending to donate it to a friend. However, an acquaintance art teacher, who came to visit her, accidentally noticed a picture and her unique style, and considered that this could be the work of Jackson Pollock.
Naturally, Horton wanted to verify the authenticity of the painting. Experts of auction houses refused to do this, so she turned to the forensic scientist, who checked the authenticity of the work, based on fingerprinting data. Despite the intense debate over whether the picture is authentic (although the prints on it coincided with those of Pollock), Teri Horton has already received many suggestions, and now the picture that is on display in the Toronto Gallery is estimated at 50 million dollars.