Woman buys a painting for €30 euros at a market, but then discovers that it is worth a lot more
June 21, 2022
Grace Carpenter, of Phoenix, Arizona, went to a thrift store before picking up her children from school and came across a painting of a woman holding a cat in her arms. So, thanks to a 20% discount, she took the painting home for around € 30 euros ($31.50 dollars): she couldn't wait to show it to her family and her cat, Max. But everyone seemed to have the same reaction to the painting: the woman in the painting was "creepy and strange".
Shortly thereafter, she noticed what appeared to the signature of a certain Charles Craig in the corner of the painting, accompanied by a date: 1912. The woman then posted a video on TikTok to share the news with her followers. "I think I've found something special. I think I've seen this signature somewhere before. If I'm right, it's an original oil painting by Charles Craig," she said in the clip.
Charles Craig was a late 1800s artist known for his Western lifestyle oil paintings. The post went viral, with over 1.5 million views. Her followers suggested she take part in the "Antiques Roadshow" program and a user offered to send her a ticket, stating they they had a spare one.
Later, Ms. Carpenter was able to show the painting to an expert. The expert confirmed the originality of the work - although the detail of the cat had been added later. "It can't go on the show because it's not 100% original, but if it were in a gallery, it wouldn't sell for less than € 2,000 euros ($ 2,100 dollars)," Grace explained in a video on TikTok.
Despite its value, Ms. Carpenter has decided to keep the work precisely for the detail of the cat in the oil painting. "When you are a treasure hunter and collector like me, the fun is in the finding, but also in keeping a work of art. Also, the cat in the painting looks like my Max and I intend to keep this beautiful treasure," she concluded.
Have you ever found something valuable in a thrift shop or flea market?