Three Fortunes Found At Thrift Shops


Thrift shops are well known for important or valuable pieces of art or clothing, but some pieces lying in a dusty corner are particularly valuable. Here are just a few.

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The Declaration of Independence: $477,650

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Michael Sparks was at his local thrift store, picking up some everyday items. He bought a candleholder, some salt and pepper shakers, and a reprint of the Declaration of Independence priced at $2.48.

When he got home, he thought his print might actually be old, so he researched the issue and discovered that he was holding one of the original 200 authentic copies of the document written by Thomas Jefferson himself! Only 36 copies of the 200 are known to exist today. Sparks got his document appraised, and was told it was probably worth about $250,000. When it went up for auction, the piece of history went for more than twice that – $477,650.

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A 360 Year Old Painting: $190,000

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An 81-year old man named Leroy was also shopping at his local Goodwill when a painting caught his eye. Since he used to be an antique dealer, he could estimate that the frame was from about the 1800’s and worth about $50 and that the painting was from about the same time period and worth about $150, so he bought the art for $3.

A year later, his daughter-in-law brought the painting to the Antiques Roadshow where it was appraised for around $25,000. Leroy’s estimate about the frame from completely correct, but wrong about the date of the painting, for it was from a Flemish school in Amsterdam, and painted around 1650.

Despite the relatively meager appraisal, the painting sold at auction for $190,000!

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An Original, Signed Picasso Poster: $7,000

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Zachary Bodish was roaming a thrift store in Columbus, Ohio, when he spotted a poster advertising a 1958 exhibition of Picasso’s ceramic sculptures. He figured it was a fake, but bought it anyway for $14.14. However, he did a little research on the item, and learned that the poster was not only completely authentic, but the small red marks in the corner was Picasso’s signature.

When he brought it to an authenticator, his suspicions were confirmed, and Bodish sold the print for $7,000. It may not seem like a lot compared to the two above, but it’s definitely a huge profit!

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(via Neatorama)

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