FOUND - Unwanted Painting Fetches $650,000

Kept in a Basement and Nearly Tossed in a Dumpster

Video
A forgotten and unwanted painting fetches $650,000 at auction.

April 27, 2017
By James Massey, What Sells Best News

VESTAL, NEW YORK (VIDEO) – FOX Business reports, a couple downsizing for a move, found a forgotten and unwanted painting in their basement. They couldn't decide if they should toss it, or donate it. Shortly thereafter... the painting fetched $650,000 at auction.

The upstate New York couple, Don and Phyllis Camp, were moving to Colorado to be near their grandchildren. They set up a dumpster and were tossing out decades worth of stuff, to lighten their load for the move. Then they found the forgotten oil painting under a bed sheet in the basement.

Nobody Wanted It

The painting, inherited from Don's mother in 1990, sat in the basement for more than 20 years, because it just didn't appeal to the couple. They pondered whether they should donate it to the Salvation Army, or perhaps just toss it in the dumpster.

Last minute, Don decided to run by a local auctioneer to see if it might be worth something. The auctioneer, David Mapes of Mapes Auctioneers didn't recognize the artist immediately. However he was impressed by the Southwest painting of the woman in a shawl. Stating in the FOX Business article; “It just knocked my socks off.”

One Sold for $400,000... Another for 50¢ at Yard Sale

Mapes research revealed the painting, entitled “Ruth,” was by William Victor Higgins (1884-1949). Higgins, became an important name in the 1920s as a member of the Taos Society of Artists, a New Mexico artist colony.

Interesting side note, related to the video mentioned above. March of 2015 we wrote about a $10,000 painting bought for 50¢ at a yard sale. We later learned that painting was also linked to Higgins, who had collaborated on it with other artists.

While researching, Mapes also discovered another Higgins painting had fetched $400,000 at Sotheby's. Our research indicates he may have found the painting entitled; "Four Shawled Women" which had fetched $411,200 at a New York sale in 2004.

Bidding-War Erupts

Mapes having a price in mind. However when he auctioned the Camp's painting, a bidding war broke out Which stroke the price to $650,000 which was paid by an Arizona collector.

Featured on TV

The painting story was highlighted on Fox Business Network’s “Strange Inheritance.” It was featured in Season 3, in Episode 24, named Desert Treasure.

Top 25: Paintings on eBay

The following list today's current Top 25: Painting Auctions, sorted by highest-bid on eBay, worldwide (Top 25: Art Items).


Original, Signed Bob Ross Seascape Painting with Certificate of Authenticity

High Bid: $7,200.00
Bids: 3
Time Left:
10h 32m


William GLACKENS - Nude resting - early 1900s - Oil on board

High Bid: $2,500.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
3d 3h 4m


"Mountain Scene" Original Oil By New York Listed Artist Rockwell Kent 1882-1971

High Bid: $1,875.00
Bids: 11
Time Left:
1d 9h 3m


Charvel EVH Art Series

High Bid: $1,800.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
4d 3h 36m


Michael Jordan Auto'd UDA Holo Stephen Holland # 5 of 14 AllStar Proof COA Bulls

High Bid: $1,523.00
Bids: 5
Time Left:
1d 8h 9m


ORIGINAL ART PICTURE OIL PAINTING on CANVAS "ITALIAN RIVIERA" Collection Piece

High Bid: $1,409.51
Bids: 17
Time Left:
2d 48m


Harold Newton - Misty River - 24" x 36" - Highwaymen Classic - NO Reserve

High Bid: $1,226.00
Bids: 8
Time Left:
19h 44m


Mary Spain Authentic Painting

High Bid: $1,100.00
Bids: 5
Time Left:
2d 5h 52m


Original oil on canvas by Thai artist Kid Kosolowat (1917-1988). "On The Hill"

High Bid: $1,000.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
2d 3h 30m


Original Charlotte Joan Sternberg illustration, On My Way Home

High Bid: $1,000.00
Bids: 2
Time Left:
3d 21h 57m


Canadian Painter Fernand Toupin(1930-2009 ) Original Painting 1988

High Bid: $929.16
Bids: 1
Time Left:
3d 3h 38m


Lg 18X24 John W Hilton California Arizona Landscape Impressionist Oil Painting

High Bid: $910.00
Bids: 24
Time Left:
1h 45m


KADISHMAN MENASHE - ACRILIC PAINTING ON CANVAS 2011 "SHEEP'S HAPINESS " W/C.O.A

High Bid: $895.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
6d 57m


Original William (Bill) Alexander Oil Painting of Mountain Landscape

High Bid: $875.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
2d 3h 33m


Antique Oil Painting On Copper"The Legend Of Saint Ursula"

High Bid: $799.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
3d 7h 28m


Excellent oil painting canvas André Lothe, painter french, cubism

High Bid: $790.00
Bids: 23
Time Left:
22h 12m


Horse and Cart at Sunset Antique Oil Painting by George Wright (1860-1942)

High Bid: $729.06
Bids: 16
Time Left:
6d 1h 49m


C.18th Antique Italian Old Master Religious Painting

High Bid: $700.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
2d 10h 2m


"Coast Rocks" Original Oil By Canadian Listed Artist Arthur Lismer 1885-1969

High Bid: $679.88
Bids: 8
Time Left:
3d 9h 3m


Estate Found John J. Inglis Stream in Landscape Oil Painting on Canvas Framed

High Bid: $610.00
Bids: 2
Time Left:
7d 9m


FRENCH IMPRESSIONIST OIL ART PAINTING RIVER LANDSCAPE circle MONET PROVANANCE 3

High Bid: $601.15
Bids: 17
Time Left:
3h 8m


W. E. Walter Emerson Baum Oil Painting (American 1884-1956) Rural Village Winter

High Bid: $600.00
Bids: 18
Time Left:
6d 4h 27m


Thomas Kinkade Garden of Prayer Art (Framed) 30X40 Custom Framed.

High Bid: $599.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
10h 46m


GRAFFITI NYC STREET SIGN SID VICIOUS SEX PISTOLS SPRAY PAINT STREET ARTIST RD

High Bid: $599.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
1d 4h 45m


Antique Original CARL BIRSKO Danish Interior Still Life Realist Oil Painting, NR

High Bid: $572.64
Bids: 31
Time Left:
6h 46m