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

Japanese antique Gold shishimai kagura dance Buddhist statue Noh Edo Temple 祭

High Bid: $1,025.00
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RARE SIZE AMAZING HUGE FRENCH DIEPPE CARVED CORPUS JESUS CHRIST 1850

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Antique embroided goldbrocade metallic thread VELUM (Vestment)

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A LARGE BRASS HANUKKAH LAMP. The Netherlands, c. 1860. antique judaica

High Bid: $325.00
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A BRASS HANUKKAH LAMP. Poland, 19th century.

High Bid: $325.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
1d 6h 44m


m. kharlop WARSAW SILVER SPICE TOWER SPOOL SHAPED ANTIQUE JUDAICA

High Bid: $325.00
Bids: 1
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Vintage Carmelite Nuns St Theresa of the Infant Jesus Reliquary Relic 1st Class

High Bid: $305.00
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A LARGE STERLING SILVER ETROG HOLDER. Israel, c.1975. On round foot. JUDAICA

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Antique 19thC Carved & Painted Wood Vishnu Hindu Architectural Temple Fragment

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26" Our Lady of Fatima statue, glass eyes, exquisite details in pristine conditi

High Bid: $275.00
Bids: 22
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Antique Agnus Dei Relic Reliquary in a wooden frame

High Bid: $264.99
Bids: 1
Time Left:
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High Bid: $250.00
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RARE JEWISH BOOK THE HAGGADAH/ ILLUSTRATOR ARTHUR SZYK / JERUSALEM -TEL-AVIV

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Bids: 2
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1st Class Relic - St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, C.P. - Hair + Document COA

High Bid: $230.00
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Reliquary relic Saint Peter the Apostle,Paul the Apostle,Donatus,St Hubertus

High Bid: $225.00
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Rosary 14k MultiColored Gold or Tri Gold 100% 14k Gold Rosary 11 Gram NO RESERVE

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vintage antique saphiret rosary gold filled glass beads

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21" Catholic Christian Crucifix - Wood Carved & Hand Painted, German Italian Art

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1491 incunabula Brescia Machbarot Immanuel antique judaica Hebrew אינקונאבולא NR

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Antique reliquary relic Saint Catherine of Alexandria (lawyers,unmarried girls)

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Antique reliquary relic Saint John of the Cross (Doctor of the Church)

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Bids: 1
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High Bid: $169.99
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