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).


Pablo Picasso Original Oil Painting Signed Auction Lot 73-863 with Proof of pic!

High Bid: $3,650.00
Bids: 16
Time Left:
4d 14h 57m


Alec Monopoly Original Signed Wall Art

High Bid: $2,500.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
3d 5h 12m


Edmund Berninger (German, 1843-1913) - A View of the Coast

High Bid: $2,225.00
Bids: 8
Time Left:
1d 12h 37m


Lucio Ranucci signed dated 1973 oil painting on canvas Young Musicians 31.5x43”

High Bid: $2,100.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
6d 26m


CHUAH THEAN TENG "Boy with Water Buffalo" Original Signed Malaysian Batik 1960s

High Bid: $2,000.00
Bids: 3
Time Left:
3h


17th century portrait of Charlotte Stanley, Countess of Derby

High Bid: $1,875.00
Bids: 26
Time Left:
4h 43m


GEAT MIX MEDIA ON CANVAS Jean-Michel Basquiat 1982 RARE AUTHENTIC ART STREET

High Bid: $1,875.00
Bids: 42
Time Left:
7h 38m


OIL PAINTING PABLO PICASSO SIGNED

High Bid: $1,800.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
14h 38m


BEAST WHISPERER original GUILDS OF RAVNICA oil painting by Matt Stewart

High Bid: $1,776.00
Bids: 13
Time Left:
9h 12m


MISSION BRIEFING original GUILDS OF RAVNICA oil painting by Matt Stewart

High Bid: $1,725.00
Bids: 15
Time Left:
1d 9h 1m


Carleton Wiggins American Barbizon Antique Oil Painting, Beautiful Art Piece

High Bid: $1,575.00
Bids: 39
Time Left:
1d 5h 29m


Art work by:James Rizzi Lithograph in 3-D

High Bid: $1,525.00
Bids: 4
Time Left:
1d 12h 39m


WILLIAM DOBSON R.A. (1817-1898) HUGE SIGNED 1849 OIL - INFANT SAINT JOHN BAPTIST

High Bid: $1,308.72
Bids: 22
Time Left:
4d 6h 27m


AMEDEE ROSIER (1831-1898) SIGNED FINE OIL ON PANEL VENICE SUNSET to £102,000

High Bid: $1,270.58
Bids: 20
Time Left:
4d 6h 47m


PHILIPS WOUWERMAN (1619-1668) HUGE DUTCH OLD MASTER OIL - HORSEMEN AT BLACKSMITH

High Bid: $1,203.50
Bids: 23
Time Left:
4d 6h 57m


AWESOME MIX MEDIA ON CANVAS Jean-Michel Basquiat 1981 RARE AUTHENTIC ART STREET

High Bid: $1,025.00
Bids: 21
Time Left:
7h 42m


1951 Jackson Pollock Abstract Painting

High Bid: $1,025.00
Bids: 2
Time Left:
12h 26m


Oversized antique original oil painting in original frame

High Bid: $1,000.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
1d 6h 2m


ALFRED DE BREANSKI JNR. (1877-1957) SIGNED LARGE OIL BLUEBELL WOODS SPRING

High Bid: $940.44
Bids: 24
Time Left:
4d 6h 33m


Cattle North Wales Landscape Antique Oil Painting by George Shalders (1826–1873)

High Bid: $920.71
Bids: 34
Time Left:
4d 5h 29m


"Bridge Scene" Original Oil By French Listed Artist Charles Camoin 1879-1965

High Bid: $890.00
Bids: 10
Time Left:
1d 13h 12m


ERNEST ANGE DUEZ (1843-1896) SIGNED FRENCH IMPRESSIONIST WINTER OIL to £570,000

High Bid: $854.95
Bids: 16
Time Left:
4d 6h 22m


"Forest Scene" Original Oil By New York Artist Fairfield Porter 1907-1975

High Bid: $819.00
Bids: 30
Time Left:
12h 57m


JOZEF VAN SNICK (1860-1945) HUGE SIGNED GENRE OIL TAILOR AT WORK - VERY UNUSUAL

High Bid: $815.49
Bids: 26
Time Left:
4d 6h 13m


GRANDMA AND ME ORIGINALOIL PAINTING 24"x36" by gregory myrick- african american

High Bid: $798.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
11h 1m