Antiques Road Show Can't Top This

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by jason_els, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Messages:
    10,576
    Likes Received:
    25
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Warwick, NY, USA
    A guy walks into a Swiss art dealer's gallery and admires a painting of a maiden done some time in the 19th century in Germany. He likes it enough to buy it for $19,000.

    The guy who buys it has some doubts. To him it doesn't look 19th century at all. It looks older and he begins to wonder just where it came from. So he sends it to a forensic art historian to get it tested. Modern science can peg a fake fairly easily using everything from electron microscopy to X-rays to carbon-14. So the art historian begins his work and then he notices a finger print set in the paint itself. This isn't unusual. Artists frequently smudge and blend with their fingers and lucky for the historian, this fingerprint is very clear. So he looks for known matches among many hundreds of paintings done by everyone from unknown art students to great masters.

    He finds a match.

    The match is so unlikely that he has other forensic art experts look at his results. They agree with him. The painting isn't 19th century and it isn't German.

    It's Italian. 15th century Italian.

    The fingerprint is that of Leonardo da Vinci.

    This forgotten 19th century German knock-off is now, officially, priceless. Estimates on its value begin at $150,000,000 but really, if it went to auction, it would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and every billionaire on earth with any interest in art would likely send its price far higher. There are no known da Vinci paintings in private hands. There are books and drawings, a few rough studies, but no finished paintings. This is it: The holy grail of the art world: a lost da Vinci, in private hands.
     
  2. justmeincal

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    Messages:
    1,044
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    San Diego County
    I read about this a while back. What a story! I wonder where the painting will end up?
     
  3. Bbucko

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    7,413
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    58
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Sunny SoFla
    How do you store and insure such a thing?
     
  4. vince

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Messages:
    14,785
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    539
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Asia
    Who buys and sells paintings worth $19,000 with no providence? Do you have a link to this story? I'd like to read more. Fantasic
     
  5. B_Stronzo

    B_Stronzo New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    4,730
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Plimoth Plantation
    I read this story Jason somewhere about a week ago. It's just wonderful that (as Antiques Road Show illustrates) that there's much yet to be found.

    Recall the story of the woman who bought a Thomas Seymour card table at a yard sale for twenty-five bucks which subsequently sold for well over half a million dollars at auction.

    I have because my eye is good. To those who know high end antiques this is like "the hunt". It's a tremendous vocation and filled with highs and lows. I once located a Samuel McIntire mantel for $300.00 and sold it the same day for just shy of twenty thousand to a dealer. I heard through the grapevine that dealer doubled that sum that same week.

    HERE is the link on the story Vince.



    ** the word Vince is properly "provenance". Just an FYI.

    You've hit on one of the down sides of this business.

    One must select carefully the things (material) he insures but insure them he must and it's very costly.
     
    #5 B_Stronzo, Dec 1, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2009
  6. nudeyorker

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Messages:
    42,918
    Likes Received:
    37
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    NYC/Honolulu
    I saw the story on ABC World News a while back, I heard he was going to ask Donald Trump keep it safe for him on one of his private jets!:laugh2:Just kidding Jason!
     
  7. NCbear

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,433
    Likes Received:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Back in NC
    When will all my favorite childhood books that I've "rescued" from my parents' old house become this valuable??

    Damn. What a story!

    NCbear (who's ever so slightly jealous of this buyer's perspicacity--even if it was unintended :tongue:)
     
Draft saved Draft deleted