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

Large Antique 19thC Grand Tour Bronze Sculpture, Saint Paul, Sword & Bible, NR

High Bid: $777.00
Bids: 43
Time Left:
23h 22m


BIG RELIQUARY: MILK, VEIL, HAIR B.M.V. DOCUMENT, COA, RELIGIOUS OBJECT, FRAME.

High Bid: $650.00
Bids: 27
Time Left:
4d 23h 26m


RELIC: ST. PHILOMENA V.M. RELIQUARY. BIG RELIC

High Bid: $610.00
Bids: 10
Time Left:
1d 23h 26m


Original Watchtower The Messenger 8/6/1928 from Detroit pics Inside are perfect.

High Bid: $500.00
Bids: 4
Time Left:
1d 6h 11m


Saint Faustyna with Certificate 1st class reliquary relic

High Bid: $462.00
Bids: 7
Time Left:
16h 28m


Heavy tortoise turtle brass statue laxmi yantra engraved lord ganesha figurine

High Bid: $400.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
1h 10m


The Sopranos Prop Prayer Cards from Television Movie Set

High Bid: $395.00
Bids: 15
Time Left:
2h 48m


Old Greek Antique Icon Icons Ikone Ikonen Icone 19th C Labsal Silver Cover

High Bid: $377.00
Bids: 15
Time Left:
7d 16h 34m


Reliquary Relic 1st Class St. Charbel Makhlouf (Monk) W/ COA

High Bid: $365.00
Bids: 4
Time Left:
16h 30m


Antique reliquary relic Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori + document Redemptorist

High Bid: $325.00
Bids: 2
Time Left:
1d 2h 27m


VERY EARLY HEBREW MANUSCRIPT LEATHER JEWISH ETHER SCROLL

High Bid: $317.00
Bids: 12
Time Left:
1h 46m


RELIC: ST. ANNA, RELIQUARY, RELIGIOUS OBJECT

High Bid: $305.00
Bids: 4
Time Left:
4d 23h 31m


Antique Bronze B Henneberg Warsaw Candle Sticks 13” Rare Flower Pattern Set Of 2

High Bid: $300.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
1d 15h 47m


RELIQUARY: ST. BARTHOLOMEW AP. WITH DOCUMENT,RELIC, COA, RELIGIOUS OBJECT

High Bid: $300.00
Bids: 32
Time Left:
7d 23h 26m


Antique Rare Complete Esther Scroll Megillah On Parchment Hand Written Judaicah

High Bid: $275.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
5d 16h 57m


† St. Rita of Cascia 1st class Reliquary Relic w/COA † Saint of the Impossible!

High Bid: $265.00
Bids: 3
Time Left:
4d 17h 25m


Jim Jones - Peoples Temple Publication Jonestown, Guyana AG Project Report 1977

High Bid: $260.00
Bids: 14
Time Left:
23h 57m


Rare - 1st Class Relic - St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort - Hair + Document

High Bid: $255.00
Bids: 2
Time Left:
1d 23h 26m


ANTIQUE HEAVY SILVER GERMAN CUP APPROX. 1790'S WITH INITIALS ENGRAVED

High Bid: $249.99
Bids: 1
Time Left:
5d 34m


ANTIQUE & ORNATE THECA CASE WITH THE RELICS OF 3 DOMENICAN SAINTS.

High Bid: $247.50
Bids: 9
Time Left:
7d 16h 59m


ANTIQUE VERONICA VEIL - TRUE FACE OF CHRIST RELIC- WITH DOCUMENT.

High Bid: $220.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
7d 17h 4m


ANTIQUE ORNATE CASE WITH THE RELICS OF 3 SAINTS AND AGNUS DEI.

High Bid: $217.50
Bids: 2
Time Left:
7d 17h 6m


ANTIQUE & ORNATE SILVER THECA CASE WITH A RELIC OF ST.DOMINIC - FOUNDER.

High Bid: $209.50
Bids: 3
Time Left:
7d 16h 53m


LARGE CHINESE ANTIQUE PORCELAIN -YELLOW GREEN & AUBERGINE DRAGON BOWL - MARK

High Bid: $207.50
Bids: 20
Time Left:
1h 22m


HUGE LOT 46 LBS. OF CATHOLIC RELIGIOUS HOLY MEDALS PENDANTS NUN COLLECTED

High Bid: $202.50
Bids: 11
Time Left:
3d 21h 6m