While some of the most revered pieces of art take center stage in galleries and museums, there are others that don’t get that treatment. In fact, masterpieces have occasionally been found in the most unlikely of places; there might even be one hiding in your home. Don’t believe us? Here are ten incredible examples of super-valuable works of art discovered in thrift stores, flea market, and attics.
1. Sunset at Montmajour
In the early 1900s a tycoon from Norway named Christian Nicolai Mustad bought an 1888 painting titled Sunset at Montmajour. Theo van Gogh, brother of the legendary Vincent, was a previous owner. Now, Mustad was convinced that Theo’s sibling had produced the beautiful piece, but his hopes were dashed following a meeting with an ambassador. They doubted its authenticity, prompting Mustad to stash the artwork away in his loft. And that’s where it stayed until 1970.
A significant moment
Mustad passed away that year, and his home was eventually sold. The buyers went on to uncover the painting, which prompted them to take it to the Van Gogh Museum. Once again, though, the work was dubbed a fake. But that all changed in 2013. At that point, Sunset at Montmajour received a stamp of approval from specialists. To give you an idea of the significance, 1928 marked the last time a Vincent piece had been verified! As for its value, it could be worth in the region of $50 million.
2. Christ Mocked
For the longest time, a lady from France believed that the painting of Jesus Christ in her kitchen was an inexpensive copy of an older piece. A visiting antiquarian wasn’t so sure, though. After dropping by to take a look at the woman’s furnishings, their eyes were drawn to the artwork; they suggested it should receive an assessment. But neither of them could have predicted what happened next.
An incredibly rare piece
When the painting was examined, experts were able to confirm that it was a genuine Cimabue piece from 1280 titled Christ Mocked. In case you weren’t aware, he was a legendary artist in the Middle Ages — and his surviving works are few and far between. They’re so rare, in fact, that the painting received a valuation of roughly $26 million. Talk about striking gold!