Art can be complicated to judge. A canvas covered in geometric rectangles might be a basic eyesore for one person, and hanging over the mantle for another may be subtle enough work. The essence of art is in the beholder’s eye.
Gaye Horrell knew, over fifty years ago, that she was looking at a rare painting. And she let herself be talked out of purchasing it, despite her intuition. Today, she can’t help but think back on her choice at the age of 76 and sigh. She’d discovered just how rare this artwork was — and how precious it was.
Gaye had met and married Tim Holme in her early 20s. They had been a happy couple living the 1960s American dream. Gaye fantasized, as a newlywed, about the life she and Tim will live together. Now, a little more cash would have helped.
Meanwhile, Gaye was willing to please Charles and Molly Holme, her new in-laws. They were a hard-working couple, who owned a Staffordshire farmhouse. They had a sale one day and insisted that the newlyweds come and look around. Gaye was hit by a specific object while browsing.
Among the farm machinery lay a drawing and various heirlooms. It featured a rough brick house with a blue-clothed woman tending to the entrance. The roof was lined with grass and filled the clear blue sky above with puffy clouds. Gaye knew it was her dream.
Art: Gaye’s Bell
Yet Gaye’s in-laws were not impressed. Her new daughter-in-law asked for a dirty old painting out of all their belongings, which they had obtained in return for farm supplies! It even had a hole in the canvas! They demanded instead that Gaye take the brass handbell.
The last thing that Gaye-the-newlywed wanted was to cause chaos. She tried to create a new life with her husband, after all. It would be asinine to bicker with his parents about such a trivial issue. And still, the enchanting painting tempted Gaye too. She asked to have it once again.
Art: Career They Want For Gaye
Tim’s parents were becoming more upset this time. They suggested that Gaye choose an object from which she would make more use. Gaye gave up on the painting to prevent confrontation and walked away with the brass handbell, and her in-laws were delighted. Tim was thrilled. But the decision will become haunting for Gaye forever.
Years after ending her marriage with Tim, Gaye stumbled on a familiar news story. This identified a painting with a woman in a blue dress from an old farmhouse. That’s when Gaye discovered the real roots of the drawing.
The painting was called Peasant Woman in Front of a Farmhouse, she figured out. After the selling of the Holme’s family in 1967, the painting went on a magical journey which will forever change the way you thrift.
The painting was called Peasant Woman in Front of a Farmhouse, and she figured out. After the selling of the Holme’s family in 1967, the art went on a magical journey that forever changed the way you thrived.
Luigi, who had just walked the North London streets, found himself staring at a painting signed by Vincent Van Gogh. His heart sank. This could be a real Van Gogh? Luigi put down 45 pounds with urgency and brought the painting home right away.
He was having a tough time convincing buyers the painting was authentic. Thus he turned to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. A central feature stood out for experts in Peasant Woman in Front of a Farmhouse.
Researchers have been able to research the composition of the painting to validate its data. This was painted in the year 1885 when Van Gogh was just 33. As Luigi sold it for 100,000 pounds, he rejoiced. Yet the price point of the painting had only been rising.
A local auction house owner, unaware of who painted the piece, bought it for a mere 4 pounds. The masterpiece stood there, unassumingly, next to contemporary knock-offs. The article was auctioned off to a junk store, without buyers. It sat there for three whole years until a customer found an unusual item.
Luigi Grasso was at the antique shop. He came across a painting with familiar brush strokes when browsing the art section but a landscape he could not place. Instead, he found a slight signature at the corner of the painting: Vincent.
Price Of The Art
It changed owners quite a few times before landing in the lap of an American collector after Luigi sold the painting in 1970. The collector purchased the painting in 2001 for 1.5 million pounds, more than ten times the amount Luigi had made! The American collector kept the art until just months ago.
As Gaye heard recently, the forgotten masterpiece was purchased by an anonymous bidder for a whopping 13 million pounds! It eclipsed all previous sales with nothing more than Gaye’s “free” price tag. She spoke about the importance of the painting.
Art: Van Gogh Floating Around
“Oh dear, how ignorant I am,” Gaye tells The Shropshire Star about her lamentable decision years ago. “Of course, I couldn’t argue with [my in-laws] in those days and finished with a brass handbell. The hard way I learned my lesson. “Gaye might now hate her in-laws, but she had a silver lining.
There are many, many more early works by Van Gogh floating out into the world. People actively hunt for them like golden, rare tickets. Why is this possible because Van Gogh was said to have sold only one painting all his life?
Van Gogh’s family had always seen promise in the young man, so his uncle, Theo, sold Vincent’s paintings in his honor. There is no record of how many sold, which leaves infinite possibilities. Even the experts hadn’t messed around.
More Artwork Missing!
Countless works of art are missing, including those by Van Gogh, Picasso, Vermeer, Raphael, and Caravaggio, you name it! While it is fun to ponder, don’t count on the next big-break to come across one. As Gaye will tell you, everything comes down to chance.
When a man — who wished to remain anonymous — perused Adamstown, Pennsylvania, flea market’s unpredictable aisles, had no wild hopes of discovering what he would find. Even so, he never expected his shopping trip to end as it did.
The Buyer was considered to be a kind of flea market collector, regularly scavenging items to improve his antique stock collection, shares, and assorted paper items. He found a peculiar little treasure in 1989 that almost rocked his life.
The Buyer entranced a specific painting, or at least the wooden frame did. The financial analyst, taking out his wallet, spent a skimpy four bucks on the old artwork, thinking nothing of buying it.
The text was a copy of the Declaration of Independence from 1776! The Buyer locked it up in his house to find out what to do with it before Nicholas Cage had the chance to steal the national treasure.
It took him some time to decide, as the priceless document sat for months in the Buyer’s room before he eventually gave in to his friend’s suggestion that he ask Sotheby’s for an appraisal.
Sotheby’s Famous Art Works
Sotheby’s is considered one of the most famous artworks, jewelry, real estate, and collectibles dealers in the world, so it’s no surprise that he trusted them with the ancient historical text. Sotheby’s was, however, suspicious.
Around the time, Selby Kiffer, the VP of Sotheby’s books and manuscripts, said, “We’re getting two or three calls a week from people pretending to have a copy of the Declaration of Independence.” This time, it wasn’t a flickering or hoax call.
Considering what Kiffer has seen, the cynicism of the Manhattan auctioneers was understandable. “A replication of the handwritten copy with 56 signatures made some months later is what most people run into,” Kiffer explained.
Having taken a gander at the yellowed piece by several experts, they all agreed it was the real thing. While paper and typography were reminiscent of the era, what sealed the deal is an etching on its backing.
The handwritten approval seal on the back that read “American Independence Claim. 4 July 1776, “its validity finally concluded. The buyer could hardly believe it: Why wasn’t this in a museum tucked away?
When the achievement of freedom became official back in the day, Philadelphia printer John Dunlap printed copies to spread the good news to the people. One very such copy was pinched surprisingly between the cheap painting and its frame.
This wasn’t just a copy, but it was a copy. The vice president of the Sotheby, David Redden, surmised that only 200 of these original copies were distributed to the government, the army, and the 13 colonies.
High Price Original Copy
Considering another original copy sold for $1.59 million in January 1990, this priceless copy was thought to have been priced at between $800,000 and $1.2 million. Incredibly, a clone of the Buyer auctioned for $8.1 million.
No one is quite sure how the valuable paper from the 18th century ended up on the flea market in Adamstown, but we are confident the Buyer didn’t matter how! “You have to describe it as a fortunate find,” Kiffer said.
Selby Kiffer said this strange, however lucrative, run-in with luck would inspire more people to try out booths on the flea market, and he’s not wrong. That’s something Antique Roadshow fans have been saying for years – and rightly so!
Luxus II Camera
Of example, this Gold-plated Luxus II camera that appeared on the show was once called “the world’s rarest camera.”
1. Only four of those gold-and-snakeskin cameras have ever been made; this (pictured) is the last one in existence! This has won $620,000 from the Antiques Roadshow collector!
2. Jardiniere vase ($820,000): Believe it or not, when they played football, the lady who owned this vase used to let her kids use it as a goal post. She had no idea that an impressive sum is so worth it.
3. Prussian plate ($185,000): Once this plate’s owner asked for her things to be appraised, she counted on her records as the most valuable. That was before she found out that the King of Prussia himself once owned the pot!
4. Diego Rivera painting ($800,000): This guy had this painting — by none other than Diego Rivera himself — hanging for years behind his office door until he wanted to get it appraised. Thank you so much for what he did!
More Facts of Luxus Camera
5. Original mobile 1950s ($400,000-$600,000): It may not look like anything on the surface, but it was one of the first mobiles ever made — and by the inventor of the phone, Alexander Calder, no less!
6. Jade bowls ($1.5 million): For less than $20, an amateur art dealer who knew his stuff has picked up a lot of jade in China. Now his kids and grandkids are reaping the investment’s rewards.
7. Navajo blanket ($750,000): Blankets were once explicitly made for Native American Ute chiefs, much like this one. The most well-preserved examples of that sort of blanket to date. Its value just ever goes up!
8. “Ozzy the Owl” ($25,000): This vase may not look like much, but it is a rare piece from 1640. The previous owner used it for flowers and had no idea what its real worth is. Now it’s hidden in a museum.