A decade ago, Jesse Ronnebaum haggled over the price of a painting he liked at a yard sale, convincing the owner to take 50 cents instead of the $1 asking price. He doesn’t know why he bought the painting, other than he just liked it. Ronnebaum recently found out that the old painting could be worth thousands of dollars.
The painting managed to stay with Ronnebaum when he moved to and from Charlotte, NC and it spent some time in a storage unit during the past 10 years. When he found out about its potential value, it was hanging up in his living room. According to Fox Channel 2 News, he noticed some words on the bottom of the painting last week that read “Palette and Chisel Club 1910.”
Doing some research online, Ronnebaum, 28, discovered the art piece had its roots tied to Chicago’s famed Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts. The club has existed since 1895 and the seven men playing pool in the painting are all well-respected artists. The artists took turns painting each other for the artwork, among them was Victor Higgins.
As reported by Yahoo! News, after discovering this information, Ronnebaum called several art dealers in Indianapolis and had several offers in one day to buy the painting that ranged from $500 to $1,500. That’s when he realized he might have something valuable.
He finally agreed to work with Curt Churchman, who owns Fine Estate Art, Rugs and Gallery in Indianapolis. They made a plan to restore the painting and try to sell it at the Leslie Hindman auction house in Chicago this May. Churchman thinks that is the best time to sell it.
“Because there’s a really great auction coming up in Chicago at the end of May which features a broad array of American art, and it’s Chicago, it seemed perfectly timed. As long as restoration goes through like we hope it will, it seemed perfectly timed to take this up there.”
Churchman thinks the painting could sell for as much as $25,000, but that $10,000 is more realistic. Ronnebaum, who works at an automobile plant cleaning floors just hopes it is enough to keep him from continuing to live paycheck to paycheck.
While it is rare, people do find valuable items at yard sales and in thrift stores. Last month, the Inquisitr reported that a man in Arizona paid $6 for a watch in Goodwill and later found out that it was worth $35,000.
[Image via Daily Mail]