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

ANCIENT SILVER CROSS RELIQUARY WITH TRUE CROSS OF .D.N.J.C. RELIC

High Bid: $530.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
1d 2h 27m


SPLENDID ANTIQUE STAND RELIQUARY WITH THE RELICS OF 3 SAINTS & MARTYRS.

High Bid: $375.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
1d 13h 55m


Antique German Porcelain Plaque Painting Raphael Madonna Della Sedia

High Bid: $370.00
Bids: 27
Time Left:
1d 20h 8m


ORNATE THECA CASE WITH THE RELICS OF 3 JESUIT SAINTS.

High Bid: $355.00
Bids: 12
Time Left:
1d 13h 54m


1913 The First Talmud printed in America Babylonian Talmud in 1 volume New York

High Bid: $349.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
4d 8h 55m


Relique relicario relic reliquary wood of the True cross - jesus

High Bid: $326.00
Bids: 19
Time Left:
16h 46m


ANTIQUE MONSTRANCE RELIC RELIQUARY EX PRAESEPIO D.N. JESUS CHRIST 19th.C .

High Bid: $305.00
Bids: 2
Time Left:
16h 33m


Tancona bundled package Fontanini city walls vender stall, Fence set and Mill.

High Bid: $294.96
Bids: 4
Time Left:
3d 26m


18K Yellow Gold Cross Pendant Figaro Link Chain Necklace

High Bid: $285.00
Bids: 55
Time Left:
4d 34m


ANTIQUE THECA CASE WITH THE RELICS OF ST.LUCY & ST.CATHERINE - WITH DOCUMENT

High Bid: $280.00
Bids: 8
Time Left:
1d 14h 4m


ANTIQUE WOOD CARVED JESUS CHRIST FIGURE 19th.C

High Bid: $279.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
16h 35m


ANTIQUE ORNATE THECA CASE WITH A RELIC OF ST. LOUIS - KING OF FRANCE

High Bid: $274.99
Bids: 2
Time Left:
1d 13h 57m


ANTIQUE FRENCH DIEPPE CARVED CORPUS JESUS CHRIST DATED 1859

High Bid: $267.00
Bids: 2
Time Left:
16h 43m


ORNATE THECA CASE WITH A RELIC OF ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI.

High Bid: $267.00
Bids: 9
Time Left:
1d 14h 1m


UNIQUE HUGE ANTIQUE BELGIUM CHURCH ORNATE VICTORIAN FRAMED WOOD PLASTER CONVEX

High Bid: $250.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
1d 14h 45m


Antique Vtg Religious Statue Carved Wood Saint George Slaying Serpent 23"H

High Bid: $249.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
21h 57m


ORNATE THECA CASE WITH A RELIC OF ST.THERESE OF THE CHILD JESUS

High Bid: $247.50
Bids: 22
Time Left:
1d 14h


Relic, Hair of Saint Therese, Little Flower, Reliquary of St. Therese Herself

High Bid: $242.50
Bids: 18
Time Left:
2d 21h 19m


VATICAN Relic SAINT JOSEPH + Document COA RELIQUARY Virgin Mary JESUS Catholic

High Bid: $240.00
Bids: 41
Time Left:
22h 51m


53" DIRK SLABBINCK MASTER COLLECTION VESTMENT CHASUBLE & STOLE - 507 - GREEN

High Bid: $225.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
3d 16h 3m


Relic from the Crown of Thorns of our Lord +++

High Bid: $217.50
Bids: 24
Time Left:
16h 1m


Watchtower ORIGINAL WATCH TOWER MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 1885 RUSSELL I.B.S.A.

High Bid: $202.51
Bids: 9
Time Left:
5d 20h 46m


ANTIQUE 25 gr. GENUINE BALTIC AMBER ISLAMIC 33 PRAYER BEADS ROSARY TESBIH

High Bid: $199.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
6d 3h 11m


ANTIQUE THECA CASE WITH A RELIC OF ST. AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO

High Bid: $197.50
Bids: 2
Time Left:
1d 14h 2m


ANTIQUE & ORNATE THECA CASE WITH A RELIC OF ST.BONAVENTURE

High Bid: $185.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
1d 13h 56m