FOUND > Thrift Store 'Jesus' Fetches $135,000

Man down to his last $300 finds Windfall at Salvation Army

Painting by Warner Sallman discovered in Salvation Army.
FIND: Religious Paintings | Spiritual Antiques

April 12, 2018
By James Massey, What Sells Best News

CHICAGO - PBS Station WTTW reports, a man down to his last $300, buys vintage 'Jesus' art at a thrift store, and it fetches a $135,000 windfall.

THE DISCOVERY

The vintage painting, depicting Jesus, and entitled "The Head of Christ" by Warner Sallman (1892 – 1968) is one of the most recognized religious art pieces in the world.

That may have been what helped catch the eye of thrift store bargain hunter, Paul Beaty, at a time when he was down to his last $300.

Story of the discovery of the paintings by WTTW Chicago Tonight.

Beaty spotted a pair of the pictures that day, and remembered the image from childhood. Then, noticed they were originals. One chalk, one oil. He decided to take a gamble.

The artworks were priced at $125 each. With funds tight, Beaty haggled with the store for a discount. He received a $50 off, and picked up the pair for $220 after tax.

Online research convinced Beaty of their potential rarity. But a visit to Sallman expert Leroy Carlson, left Beaty shocked. They were appraised at: $35,000 for the chalk and $100,000 for the oil.

THE SALE

Remarkably, after the artworks garnered media attention through the WTTW Chicago Tonight story. Beaty was able to arrange a private sale with author Jerry Jenkins, for $135,000.

WHY IT’S RARE

"The Head of Christ" by Warner Sallman has been reproduced over a billion times. Printed on a wide variety of items, including postage stamps. Only five original oil paintings are known to exist.

RELIGIOUS RARITIES

Depending on the artist, spiritual and religious art can skyrocket. Last year we reported on a painting of Jesus bought in Louisiana for $10,000. That one stunned the art world, by fetching $450 million.

CBS News story of the $450 million painting.

The 16th century painting, named 'Salvator Mundi,' or 'Savior of the World,' was by Leonardo da Vinci. The sale shattered records, and it became the most expensive piece of art ever sold.

Small details can make a big difference in identifying and valuing art. If you think you have something, you should go to our free appraisals page and contact several of the experts listed there.

SPIRITUAL COLLECTIBLES PRICES

To monitor the real-time price strength of more common religious and spiritual collectibles. Keep an eye on the highest bid items (below) in the Spiritual Collectibles category on eBay. To research sold prices for rare items, click here.


FIND: Religious Paintings | Spiritual Antiques

Rare Ottoman silk & Copper/metal thread Caligriphic Belt for Kaaba (3M x 0.65M)

High Bid: $11,413.04
Bids: 1
Time Left:
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RARE Antique 19c finift enamel icon Russian SILVER 84 MADONNA of God Ovchinnikov

High Bid: $1,925.00
Bids: 61
Time Left:
3d 10h 46m


Kiswa from Room Tomb of Prophet 162cm x 37cm (certificate)

High Bid: $892.64
Bids: 2
Time Left:
3d 6h 43m


Pope John Paul II reliquary relic with papers

High Bid: $800.00
Bids: 8
Time Left:
5d 13h 30m


Priest owned St. Pope John Paul II 1st class relic of his wounds with COA

High Bid: $613.00
Bids: 26
Time Left:
3d 16h 47m


Watchtower GENERAL CONVENTION I.B.S.A. 1914 Clinton, Iowa

High Bid: $500.00
Bids: 4
Time Left:
5d 17h 15m


ORTHODOX GILT BRASS RELIQUARY BOX W/ HAND PAINTED ICON & RELIC

High Bid: $466.20
Bids: 53
Time Left:
4d 19h 5m


100 Mils Palestine 1927-1931-1933-1935-1940-1939-1942 ( 7 Coins )

High Bid: $430.00
Bids: 22
Time Left:
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A LARGE SILVER ETROG CONTAINER. Poland, 19th century. JUDAICA

High Bid: $400.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
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19thC Antique 1844 Greek Icon Painting, Madonna & Jesus w/ Silver Halos, NR

High Bid: $390.00
Bids: 69
Time Left:
5d 18h 33m


Antique 1893 Russian 84 Enamel Silver Icon Painting, Saint Nicholas Wonderworker

High Bid: $372.00
Bids: 20
Time Left:
7d 19h 52m


A LARGE STERLING SILVER MENORAH. Mexico, c. 1970. JUDAICA

High Bid: $365.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
3d 19h 28m


18thC Antique Greek Icon Triptych Painting Silver Accents Mary, Jesus & Saints

High Bid: $340.00
Bids: 42
Time Left:
5d 17h 45m


Antique Russian / Greek Orthodox Icon of Jesus Christ

High Bid: $307.00
Bids: 61
Time Left:
4d 19h 45m


Antique Brass Gothic Church Altar Candle Stick Candle & Religious Book Holder

High Bid: $295.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
4d 15h


Tea Pot Jewish Marked 84, N E , 1879, CH, Judaica.

High Bid: $275.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
20h 3m


ANTIQUE JUDAICA HEBREW ENGLISH SPANISH BOOK LONDON 1773 RARE JEWISH PIRATES

High Bid: $261.42
Bids: 8
Time Left:
7d 12h 47m


RUSSIAN ICON ANTIQUE ORIGINAL 19th XIX CENTURY ORTHODOX PAINTING OLD RARE

High Bid: $260.00
Bids: 31
Time Left:
7d 14h 5m


Antique Ottoman Amber Bakelite Osmanli Sikma Kehribar Prayer Bead

High Bid: $256.00
Bids: 24
Time Left:
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RUSSIAN ICON ANTIQUE ORIGINAL 19th XIX CENTURY ORTHODOX PAINTING OLD RARE

High Bid: $255.00
Bids: 26
Time Left:
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Amazing Silver Enamel Ciboria Chalice Goldsmith - Sterling CALICE -w.BOX & paten

High Bid: $252.21
Bids: 32
Time Left:
1d 20h 5m


ST. GEMMA GALGANI - 1st class relic + authentic document

High Bid: $245.00
Bids: 2
Time Left:
1d 10h 53m


Spanish Colonial carved & painted wood Saint/Monk w/gold leaf 1st ½ 19th c. 9”

High Bid: $245.00
Bids: 3
Time Left:
3d 18h 23m


Saint Faustina reliquary with + + Authenticity + +

High Bid: $227.50
Bids: 39
Time Left:
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ANTIQUE JUDAICA HEBREW PRAYERS 1743 GOLD TOOLED BINDING DE GROOT DUBLIN INSCRIPT

High Bid: $212.96
Bids: 40
Time Left:
12h 35m