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

An Excellent Antique Tibetan Gilt Bronze Buddha Statue, Marked.

High Bid: $725.00
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Lg Antique Vtg Church Religious Statue Carved Wood St. Jude Demetz Italian 36"H

High Bid: $695.00
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RELIQUARY OF LIGNO CRUCIS D.J.C.N. + COA, DOCUMENT, RELIC, RELICS

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RELICS:TRUE CROSS D.N.J.C.+ 6 OF THE PASSION + 12 APOSTLES, COA,DOCUMENT,

High Bid: $418.00
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ANTIQUE FRAMED VERONICA VEIL RELIC - TRUE FACE OF CHRIST - WITH DOCUMENT.

High Bid: $405.00
Bids: 8
Time Left:
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RELIC: ST.IGNATIUS BISHOP AND MARTYR, COA, DOCUMENT,RELIQUARY

High Bid: $400.00
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RELIQUARY: ST. PANTELEIMON DOCTOR AND MARTYR, COA

High Bid: $373.00
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Saint Francis Franciscus of Assisi Relic Reliquary DOCUMENT CERTIFICATE SEAL

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James Avery Bronze Wall Cross (Story of Jesus)

High Bid: $334.00
Bids: 5
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Dalmatic, Tunic Violet Cloth of Gold

High Bid: $300.00
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35" Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Statue Sculpture Religious Made in Italy

High Bid: $299.95
Bids: 1
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BL. BARTOLO LONGO - 1st class relic + authentic document

High Bid: $275.00
Bids: 1
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20h 49m


1st Class Relic TRUE CROSS JESUS Catholic Mary STERLING RELIQUARY IHS Saint Pope

High Bid: $265.00
Bids: 25
Time Left:
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Beautiful Antique Russian Icon.

High Bid: $263.52
Bids: 48
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shrine relic reliquary S.SIMON +MATTHIAS APOSTLE + S JOHN APOSTLE EVANGELIST

High Bid: $250.00
Bids: 1
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shrine relic reliquary S.PAUL AP +S.PETER APOSTLE + S.JAMES MINOR APOSTLE

High Bid: $250.00
Bids: 1
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3d 8h 25m


10 Dominican Amber Islamic Prayer Misbaha Tesbih Beads 9mm to 10mm (213.8 g)#958

High Bid: $249.99
Bids: 1
Time Left:
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shrine RELICARIO relic BRONZE RELIQUARY TRUE CROSS D.N.J.C.

High Bid: $249.00
Bids: 1
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3d 8h 35m


RARE ITALIAN shrine relicario relic reliquary S.FILOMENA VIRGIN MARTYR

High Bid: $249.00
Bids: 1
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RELIQUARY OF ST. WENCESLAS, DUKE AND MARTYR + COA, DOCUMENT, RELIC, RELICS

High Bid: $244.38
Bids: 17
Time Left:
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BEAUTIFUL OLD SILVER & BRASS TRIPTYCH WITH THE CROSS STATIONS - SIGNED BY WICKER

High Bid: $240.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
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Brass reliquary Sanctuary lamp Sudari Saint Veronica,touched True Cross/Lance

High Bid: $227.50
Bids: 2
Time Left:
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St.Padre Pio di Pietrelcina reliquary + authenticity

High Bid: $204.49
Bids: 23
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Saint Faustina reliquary with + + Authenticity + +

High Bid: $204.40
Bids: 16
Time Left:
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BARBARA BIXBY BALINESE DANCER PRINCESS GARNET MOONSTONE & MOP 925 Silver & 18k

High Bid: $199.99
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