Story at a glance

  • A Massachusetts man bought a rare drawing for only $30 at an estate sale two years ago.
  • The drawing is assumed to be an original of German painter Albrecht Dürer .
  • Art experts estimate that the drawing is actually worth close to $50 million.

A Massachusetts man bought a rare painting that’s estimated to be worth $50 million for only $30 at an estate sale. 

The buyer, according to Insider, held on to the painting for two years before Clifford Schorer, a senior partner for London art dealer Agnews, asked to see it. 

"It was an incredible moment when I saw the Dürer. It was either the greatest forgery I have ever seen — or a masterpiece," said Shorer to The Art Newspaper.

Titled, “The Virgin and Child with a Flower on a Grassy Bank” the drawing is assumed to be an unknown piece by Albrecht Dürer, a German painter. It is undergoing analysis for its potential price tag, according to The Art Newspaper, and Schorer told the outlet he expects it, “could fetch a record price.”


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The painting is believed to have been created around 1503 and was owned by architect Jean-Paul Carlhian, who lived in Concord, Mass. He died in 2012 and his wife also died three years later. “The Virgin and Child with a Flower on a Grassy Bank” ended up at an estate sale in 2016 and sold for $30.

Apparently Carlhian’s daughters didn’t believe their father’s Dürer was authentic and sold the drawing, despite the drawing including an “AD” monogram. It’s also believed that the drawing is on original Dürer paper watermarked with a trident, which was used by Dürer in over 200 known works.

According to The Art Newspaper, Schorer arranged from the drawing’s current owner to receive a $100,000 advance and will receive an additional undisclosed amount when the drawing’s sale is finalized. 

Experts believe it’s worth around $50 million and could possibly be purchased by the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles or New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

Until then, “The Virgin and Child with a Flower on a Grassy Bank” is on exhibit at London art gallery Agnews until Dec. 12.


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Published on Nov 29, 2021