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‘Virgin and Child’ drawing bought for $30 at estate sale could be worth millions


Photo Courtesy of Agnews Gallery

J-P Mauro - published on 11/29/21

The piece could set the record for highest price for a drawing on paper from an Old Master.

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Four years ago, a Massachusetts man was perusing an estate sale when a drawing of the Madonna and Child drew his attention. There was no indication that the piece was remarkable, besides its artistry, and on that alone he bought it. Now the drawing is making headlines as it may garner millions at auction. 

Artnet News reports that the drawing has been authenticated as an original work by German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer. The confirmation came from Christof Metzger, head curator at the Albertina Museum in Vienna, who happens to be the leading authority on Dürer. His declaration that the piece is genuine was further supported by Giulia Bartrum, a former curator of German Prints and Drawings at the British Museum.

The road to this acknowledgement has been a long one for the lucky owner of the drawing, who has remained unnamed. He has spent the last four years seeking authentication for the drawing, racking up numerous expenses along the way. The work had to be brought to several different experts to authenticate the art style, watermarks, and even the composition of the paper. 

Now, the anonymous buyer has a chance to make back his investment and then some. The piece, which experts have agreed was drawn around 1503, could sell for as much as $50 million.The Art Newspaper notes that if it does manage to sell at this price, it would hold the record for highest price of an artwork on paper by an Old Master. 

Read more at the Art Newspaper.

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