If you have an eye for recognizing undervalued treasures, you can often find valuable items at estate sales and junk auctions. Occasionally, prospectors with keen senses are provided the opportunity to double their investment.
But those kind of eagle eyes take years to develop. The ability to buy low and sell high is a skill that take a lifetime to perfect.
But occasionally, there comes along something of a wunderkind. Call it blind luck or innate ability, this lucky little preteen’s sixth sense was tingling and he didn’t ignore it.
While at an auction in New Jersey, the boy, who remained anonymous, made the find of the century.
The boy and his father were at an auction in New Jersey when a painting caught his eye. He purchased it for $2.
The youngster admits it was difficult to get a good look at the painting because it was hidden behind a UV glass intended to protect it from the sun.
“It was so hot there, my dad didn’t want to stay to get it, but I wanted to, so we waited an hour or so. We got it for two bucks,” the boy said on Antiques Roadshow.
He’s brimming with pride as he answers the questions posed to him by appraiser David Weiss. The experienced antique evaluator is impressed by the young collectors eye and candor.
“You like buying and selling things?” Weiss asks.
“Big time,” the boy said.
The appraiser starts to examine the painting, which as it turns out, was made by a prominent Dutch artist born in 1844.
The painting was made by a well-known Dutch artist named Albert Neuhuys. The painting matches his style exactly, and the signature in the bottom right corner is undeniably authentic.
“I think your water color was probably done in the last quarter of the 19th century,” said Weiss.
He goes on to explain that the work is typical of the period—a mother and child in an interior scene depicting everyday life.
“You paid two dollars,” Weiss said, turning to the boy. “What do you think it might be worth today?”
The boy estimated the painting would be worth somewhere around $150 at auction. He was way off.
“I think it’s worth $150. I think it’s worth more than $150,” the appraiser said, building up to his estimate.
“Today, if your Albert Neuhuys watercolor came to an auction, it would probably sell for between $1,000 and $1,500.”
The boy’s eyes nearly pop out of his face as his jaw drops. He figures to have made approximately $1,498 in profit.
“I think I’m going to be rich,” the boy said at his prospective career as an art dealer.
With just this one painting, he may not exactly be wealthy—but if he’s able to keep making finds like this one, he’s probably right!