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

Reliquary Relic 1st class Ex Sanguine Pope John Paul II w/coa

High Bid: $860.00
Bids: 9
Time Left:
5d 16h 23m


shrine relicario relic reliquary ST JEROME ,DOCTOR OF THE CHURH +DOCUMENT 1752

High Bid: $660.00
Bids: 3
Time Left:
1d 22h 47m


shrine relicario relic reliquary ST ANTHONY OF PADUA and ST FRANCES DE CANTHAL

High Bid: $650.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
1d 22h 48m


XXL LARGE 1790 ANTIQUE HAND CARVED WOOD CHURCH ALTAR CORPUS WALL CRUCIFIX CROSS

High Bid: $490.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
1d 15h 27m


RUSSIAN ORTHODOX FEAST DAYS ICON MID. 19TH CENTURY ORIGINAL SAINTS SACRED

High Bid: $400.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
2d 23h 5m


1933 Daprato Studios 24" Infant JESUS CHILD Statue Plaster? Chalk? GLASS EYES

High Bid: $400.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
4d 6h 6m


14th CENTURY HEBREW MANUSCRIPT on Parchment !! Extremely rare Jewish Judaica WOW

High Bid: $329.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
7d 13h 59m


The Holy Tablets Dr Malachi Z York HJM -Excellent

High Bid: $299.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
8d 10h 46m


1742 Extremely rare Prayer book antique HEBREW Venice מחזור איטליאני ונציה נדיר

High Bid: $290.00
Bids: 11
Time Left:
11h 27m


STERLING SILVER Antique Catholic Communion Chalice; 566g And DIAMOND INLAYS

High Bid: $285.00
Bids: 3
Time Left:
11h 27m


shrine RELICARIO relic reliquary ST NICHOLAS BISHOP OF MYRA

High Bid: $280.00
Bids: 7
Time Left:
2d 22h 47m


Beautiful rare lot of galalith orange amber translucid 5 rods 126 grams

High Bid: $265.00
Bids: 6
Time Left:
4d 3h 59m


Small Antique 19thC O/C Oil Painting Icon, Raphaels Madonna Della Seggiola, NR

High Bid: $260.00
Bids: 18
Time Left:
3d 17h 53m


Relique relicario relic reliquary TRUE CROSS JESUS De ligno S.S. crucis DNJC

High Bid: $256.00
Bids: 15
Time Left:
3d 12h 32m


ANTIQUE STERLING SILVER CATHOLIC CHURCH ALTAR CHALICE PATEN SCHWARZMANN GERMANY

High Bid: $255.02
Bids: 10
Time Left:
3d 18h 56m


old antique german cherry faturan amber bakelite marbled block 936 gr great!!

High Bid: $251.00
Bids: 18
Time Left:
1d 2h 27m


A Wonderful Old Russian Orthodox Icon of of Jesus-- over 14 scenes of his life.

High Bid: $240.00
Bids: 11
Time Left:
3d 9h 12m


Catholic Relic Reliquary Ex Oss. Bone Of St. John Neumann With COA

High Bid: $235.00
Bids: 20
Time Left:
19h 10m


ANTIQUE GERMAN 19th C MINIATURE PORTRAIT PAINTING ON IVORY GENTLEMAN BIBLICAL

High Bid: $205.50
Bids: 59
Time Left:
3d 9h 59m


St. Jude Reliquary Relic w/ Gold Theca

High Bid: $202.50
Bids: 25
Time Left:
4d 17h 47m


36 Deck Tarot Oracle lot Used Condition, Pagan, Metaphysical, Occult.

High Bid: $202.50
Bids: 4
Time Left:
5d 4h 43m


shrine RELICARIO relic reliquary ST LAWRENCE DEACON MARTYR

High Bid: $201.00
Bids: 3
Time Left:
2d 22h 48m


ANTIQUE GENUINE BALTIC AMBER ISLAMIC 33 PRAYER BEADS ROSARY BUTTERSCOTCH

High Bid: $199.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
1d 3h 39m


Wish Granting Jinn Servant Vortex Box ~ READ! ~ Master Djinn Enchantments

High Bid: $199.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
5d 8h 37m


Alb, long lace, vestment, square neck, medium

High Bid: $190.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
2d 8h 1m