Listen to your mother - PLEASE don't throw away that ratty old painting with the "RENOIR" label... It’s non-numismatic, but still a collector's dream.
An auction house can never anticipate what might come through the door. Elizabeth Haynie Wainstein, owner of The Potomack Company, announces that a Virginia woman's flea market find - a lost Renoir painting the auction house recently revealed - will be for sale at the gallery's September 29th catalogue auction. The Potomack Company's fine arts specialist, Anne Norton Craner, determined that the painting which had been purchased along with a box of random items in the Shenandoah Valley was actually a work by Pierre-Auguste Renoir worth many times more than its purchase price.
"When I removed the painting from the plastic bag it was stored in, I saw that its radiant plein air quality – the rapid brush strokes, the vibrant purple and pink colors, the Seine as subject matter and the luminous light reminded me immediately of Renoir's 1879 Landscape of Wargemont," said Craner. Her further investigation confirmed the painting as Paysage Bords de Seine, one of Renoir's many river scenes painted along the Seine River near the towns of Bougival and Chatou.
"A Shenandoah Valley woman was out enjoying a weekend day at a flea market and purchased a box of miscellaneous items," said Wainstein. "What had actually caught her eye in the box wasn't the valuable Renoir but a plastic cow and a Paul Bunyan doll. She stored the rest of the box's contents first in a white plastic bag in a shed, later in her car's trunk and eventually in her kitchen."
The painting's owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, told The Potomack Company, "I was more interested in the frame than the landscape and started taking it apart. I tore the brown paper off the back and threw it in the trash. When I asked my mom for help, she told me to get it looked at first before I threw it away. Low and behold, she was right! It does pay to listen to your mother."
A lot of these supposed flea market finds turn out to be scams, but stranger things have happened. It'll be interesting to see how the story turns out.
To read the complete article, see:
Possible Renoir found: Virginia woman's flea market find for sale at Potomack Company
Wayne Homren, Editor
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