A man has made the discovery of a lifetime after he stumbled upon an original drawing by famed artist Egon Schiele in a thrift store — and it could now sell for more than US$100,000 (AU$147,000).
The thrifty shopper found the rare pencil drawing — more than 100 years after the Austrian painter’s death — while he was browsing through a Queens-based Habitat for Humanity thrift store in the United States, according to The Art Newspaper.
The anonymous buyer then contacted Jane Kallir, director of New York’s Galerie St. Etienne, to confirm its authenticity.
“Ninety percent of the time they’re wrong,” she said. “Most of them are fakes – egregious copies.”
However, the gallery owner said that when she saw the piece in person, she knew it was the real thing.
“It was a girl who modelled for Schiele frequently, both alone and sometimes with her mother, in 1918,” she explained to the news outlet.
The famous drawing, titled Reclining Nude Girl, is now for sale in the gallery and on display as part of an exhibit called ‘The Art Dealer as Scholar’. If it sells, the anonymous man is reportedly planning to donate some of the proceeds to Habitat for Humanity.
“If you look at the way this girl is lying on her back, and you look at the foreshortening both on the rib cage and on her face, and the way you see that little nose pointing up — think about how difficult that is to do,” the gallery owner reportedly explained.
“There are very few people in the history of art who can draw like that.”
Meanwhile, it comes after a family in France discovered an old vase that had been sitting in their attic for decades was actually an 18th century piece from China worth millions
In fact, Sotheby’s, one of the world’s leading auction houses, sold the Imperial Yangcai Crane and Deer Ruyi vase for 20 times the estimated price, fetching a cool €16.2 million (A$25.1 million, US$19 million, GBP£14.2 million). For Sotheby’s France, it was the highest price for a single item in the organisation’s history.
It is thought the vase had been sitting in the attic since 1947, after the seller’s uncle passed away. The vase was originally given to him by his own grandparents, according to Sotheby’s.