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

Mariae Faustina Kowalska with Certificate 1st class reliquary relic

High Bid: $943.33
Bids: 20
Time Left:
2h 25m


17thC Antique Old-Master Religious Oil Painting of Jesus Christ Shackled

High Bid: $760.00
Bids: 52
Time Left:
8h 59m


260.4 Grams Huge Faturan Cherry Amber Bakelite 26 Beads Damari.

High Bid: $660.00
Bids: 57
Time Left:
4d 1h 19m


MULTIRELIQUARY OF LIGNO CRUCIS D.N.J.C.+THORN+SHROUD IN ITS CASE+DOCUMENT,COA

High Bid: $530.00
Bids: 39
Time Left:
1d 7h 57m


Antique 18thC Greek Orthodox, St. Christopher Dog-Head Saint, Icon Painting, NR

High Bid: $521.00
Bids: 48
Time Left:
1d 9h 15m


031)Amazing sterling silver reliquary True Cross of Our Lord SS Crucis DN

High Bid: $354.99
Bids: 2
Time Left:
6d 56m


Vtg Old Pawn NAVAJO Huge CROSS Pendant TURQUOISE SPINY Oyster Bead NECKLACE Lot

High Bid: $349.00
Bids: 36
Time Left:
4d 10h 14m


Reliquary - Band of Jesus Christ +++

High Bid: $330.00
Bids: 7
Time Left:
3h 38m


Reliquary - St. Blaise

High Bid: $330.00
Bids: 26
Time Left:
3h 47m


14K Tri-Color Gold 5mm Ball 30" Rosary Necklace - 35 Grams **NO RESERVE**

High Bid: $325.00
Bids: 31
Time Left:
4d 8h 56m


LOVELY VINTAGE 18K SOLID GOLD MADONNA & CHILD PENDANT NECKLACE 7.5 G STAMPED 750

High Bid: $299.99
Bids: 1
Time Left:
6d 21h 59m


St. John of the Cross with Certificate 1st class antique relic

High Bid: $290.00
Bids: 2
Time Left:
4d 6h 20m


040) Little monstrance reliquary 1st class relic of St Remaclus Stavelot Belgium

High Bid: $285.00
Bids: 3
Time Left:
6d 1h 5m


Vtg Cherry Amber Cognac Bakelite Graduated Oval Bead Necklace 43 Beads 69 grams

High Bid: $268.00
Bids: 3
Time Left:
3h 24m


S Crucis, D.N.J.C of Jesus Christ - True cross, 1st class relic

High Bid: $260.00
Bids: 2
Time Left:
3d 7h 48m


Ex Sanguine St. Pope John Paul II 1st class relic of his wounds with COA

High Bid: $250.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
6d 3h 53m


LARGE CHINESE ANTIQUE NATURAL JADEITE JADE STATUE (late 1800s early 1900s) QING

High Bid: $213.50
Bids: 10
Time Left:
1d 10h 33m


Hadad Sterling Silver 925 Washing Cup Jewish Details 327.5g Wash Judaica

High Bid: $204.00
Bids: 3
Time Left:
1d 6h 30m


Original 1967 Salvador Dali Biblia Sacra "Et baptizatus est ..." Signed - COA

High Bid: $202.50
Bids: 17
Time Left:
2h 18m


036) Antique big size reliquary 1st class relic of Apostle St Peter, St Paul, An

High Bid: $202.49
Bids: 2
Time Left:
6d 1h 1m


shrine relic reliquary S. Peter Crisologo Bihsop and Doctor of the church

High Bid: $200.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
2d 3h 24m


035)Amazing sterling silver reliquary 1st class relic Saint Casimir + St Helena

High Bid: $199.99
Bids: 1
Time Left:
6d 1h


Antique Copper statue of Jesus

High Bid: $199.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
2d 22h 39m


MULTI RELIQUAIRE RELIQUARY RELIQUIARIO RELIC RUSSIAN RUSSE 20 RELICS

High Bid: $195.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
21h 52m


1st Class Relic - St. Peter Julian Eymard - Hair + Document

High Bid: $190.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
1d 9h 26m