You never know what you might find in a thrift shop! In 1992, Teri Horton visited one of the local thrift shops in San Bernardino, California, as she was looking for a birthday present for her friend. She saw a painting, and, never being a true art expert, she offered only $5 to the seller for it. They shook hands, and she left. The big painting didn’t fit into any of her friend’s rooms, and she tried to sell it several years later.
During a yard sale, an art teacher said that the big painting she was trying to get rid of might be a masterpiece created by Jackson Pollock. She invited an expert to have her painting checked. The forensic specialist found the artist’s fingerprint on its canvas, so there were no doubts. One art collector offered Horton $2 million for the painting, but she refused to sell it and would accept no less than $50 million for it. We should add that she still owns the painting.
A man bought an old $4 painting at a flea market in Adamstown, Pennsylvania, in 1989, thinking the frame could be fixed and reused. When he removed the canvas, he saw a folded paper stuffed in it. He opened the document and couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw an original copy of the Declaration of Independence, dated 1776. The head of the book and manuscript department at Sotheby’s, David N. Redden, announced the unique discovery in 1991, but the lucky finder preferred to remain anonymous.
Later that year, the manuscript was auctioned for $2,420,000 at Sotheby’s. If only the seller at that flea market knew the fortune the painting was hiding inside, we bet he’d never have sold it.