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Painting bought at thrift store could be worth more than $20,000

Painting bought at thrift store could be worth more than $20,000
Stephen Burgess said a painting he bought for $96 at a thrift store in Courtenay, British Columbia, might be an original Wijmer worth more than $20,000. Photo by angelsover/Pixabay.com

Aug. 11 (UPI) -- A man who bought a painting from a British Columbia, Canada, thrift store for $96 said he discovered the piece could be worth more than $20,000.

Stephen Burgess, of Courtenay, said he regularly purchases art and frames from thrift stores to decorate his home, and on his recent visit to Value Village in Courtenay, a painting in an ornate frame caught his eye.

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"I thought I'd just get it for the frame," he told the Comox Valley Record.

Burgess did a Google search for the artist's signature, Wijmer, and determined it was likely a mass-produced print of a piece by Dutch artist Gerritjen Wijmer, who was born in 1870.

He bought the painting for $96, intending to reuse the frame elsewhere, but during a closer examination he found a stamp from Munich, Germany, on the back of a canvas and oil brush strokes on the perimeter of the canvas under the frame, indicating it could be an original.

One of the artist's most famous paintings, Mountain Mist, recently was auctioned for $200,000, indicating Burgess' find could be much more valuable than the price he paid.

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Burgess said his research indicates Wijmer paintings can sell for $20,000 to $350,000, depending on their condition. He said he is seeking a professional appraiser to confirm the authenticity of the artwork.

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