Woman Finds Renoir Original at Flea Market
Painting could sell for up to $100K later this month
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2012 6:50 AM CDT
A painting bought in a Virgina flea market turned out to be an original Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and is expected to sell for up to $100,000 in an auction later this month.   (Potomac Company)

(Newser) – The flea market box lot was less than $50, and the buyer picked it up mostly for the Paul Bunyan doll it contained. But it turns out the box lot also contained an original painting by Renoir that could fetch up to $100,000 in an auction at the end of the month, reports the New York Times. The 5.5-inch-by-9-inch painting of the Seine riverside is believed to be Renoir's Paysage Bords de Seine. It was bought from a French gallery in 1925 and later sold to a Maryland collector, but art historians aren't sure when or how it disappeared.

Flea markets are notorious for producing forgeries, but art experts think this is the real thing. "You just see it and you know it’s right," says one at the Potomack auction house in Virginia. The buyer brought the painting there in a white plastic bag. "She liked the look of the frame, and started tearing off the paper on the back, and her mum told her to stop," says the Potomack expert.

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Showing 3 of 17 comments
Sep 8, 2012 1:15 PM CDT
If this turns out to be authentic...is it really worth $100,000? I mean...could she sell it for $100k and after taxes make, say, $75k...or would there be enough interested people where she could open a coffee shop in a heavy traffic [especially tourist] area and use it as an attraction just to get people in the door. And once inside the shop looking at the Renoir...buy a cup of coffee, a sandwich, a doughnut, croissant, soda, water, copies [framed or not] of the original artwork, ice cream, etc..etc..until a steady clientele builds. Could she possibly make a lot more than $75k over several years from sales at the coffee shop because of customers brought in by the painting then when she's ready to retire she could sell the coffee shop and possibly make a profit from the sale...then sell the painting which might be worth even more at that time? Or am I just smoking some good weed?
Sep 8, 2012 11:32 AM CDT
nice flea!
Sep 8, 2012 11:27 AM CDT
It's what it looked like before the people arrived for the garden party.