Thrift Store treasures
Buying at thrift stores can be interesting, not only because you can find things you need or want for your collection, they are often sold for a fraction of the real value. And there’s also a chance to find real treasures! Also antique shops, pawn shops and garage sales can be the spot for something worthy.
Pablo Picasso poster
When the unemployed Zach Bodish saw a nice poster at the Volunteers of America thrift store, he thought it would be a reproduction that could make him some profit. He bought the poster for $14.14 and started doing some research. After a while, he found out that it was an original poster, signed by the famous painter Pablo Picasso. After a representative from Christie’s confirmed that it was an authentic piece, the poster was sold to a private collector for $7,000.
Just before painting it over..
An artist, Beth Feeback, found an abstract painting at her local Goodwill store. She bought it for $9.99 and wanted to paint it over, to use it for her own paintings. On the back of the painting where some names and after a google search, Beth found out that the painting was made by Ilya Bolotowsky, a Russian painter who immigrated to the United States in 1923. He was mentored by the famous Dutch painter Piet Mondriaan and used the same sort abstract techniques. The painting was valued $15,000-20,000 and sold for $34,375.
Weird broken bowl
An Australian man used to go around local thrift stores and found weird bowl. Although there was a piece missing, he decided to take it home for $3.55. It was a good guess, the bowl turned out to be a very rare libation cup, made in China in the 17th century. It was appraised for $17,500-$25,000 and auctioned off for $67,153. The good news: you don’t have to fly all the way to Australia for these finds, you might find them at your local thrift shop!
Declaration of Independence
Michael Sparks paid $2.48 for a yellowed, rolled-up copy of the Declaration of Independence. He thought it was just an old reprint and also bought some other things like salt and pepper shakers. After some research on the internet, Michael thought that he had something worthy and had it appraised. The Declaration turned out to be an official copy, printed in 1823 and now valued at $250,000. Not bad for an investment of just $2.48. Things even got better, in auction the document sold for $477,650! There are still a lot of these official copies of the Declaration missing, so maybe one is waiting for you at your local Thrift store!
A painting at a Goodwill Store
81-year-old Leroy saw a nice painting at a Goodwill store and bought it for $3. He thought the painting could be worth a couple of hundred dollars on the internet but his daughter-in-law took the painting to the Antiques Roadshow and it turned out to be a great find. It was a Flemish painting from around 1650 and got an appraisal of $20,000 to $30,000. In auction it went even better, the painting sold for $190,000. Even if you don’t know much about painting.. if it looks nice and old, just take a gamble and do some research on what you have bought. Is it worthless? Just give it to charity or sell it at your own yard sale.
A great antique shop find
A priest in the UK found a nice painting for his wall at a local antique shop. He bought the painting for $700 and had it appraised some years later. It turned out to be a portrait made by the famous Flemish painter Sir Anthony van Dyck, who painted a lot of members of the royal family. In the Antiques Roadshow, the painting is valued at $700,000.
A Nobel Prize at a pawn shop
A gold medal, a real Nobel Peace Prize, was sold to an South American pawn shop for the value of the gold (222.4g of 23-carat gold). A collector bought the medal in 1993 and sold it again to another collector who brought it into auction. After a lot of publicity the medal was sold for $950,000! So when you want to buy something in a pawn shop, try to know more about silver, gold and medals than the owner of the shop!
Did you ever find something at a thrift store that turned out to be very valuable? Leave a comment!