Man buys drawing for £22 but it turns out to be original artwork worth £37m

A man bought a sketch at an estate sale for a modest £22, but it turned out to be an original piece of artwork and a valuer said it could be worth around £37 million

A man was shocked after picking up a sketch at an estate sale for £22 ($30) as he later learned it was actually an original artwork worth around £37m.

The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, liked the unframed sketch of a mother and child, which was elegantly drawn onto yellow linen.

He didn’t suspect it was an original piece of artwork of any significance, even though it had one of the art world’s most well-known monograms— Albrecht Dürer ‘s “A.D.”, as the Smithsonian Magazine reports.

Now the artwork has been assessed by experts and scholars, who agree the sketch is an original – and conservative estimates put the value at around £37m ($50m).

The sketch was sold in Massachusetts in 2016 by the family of late architect Jean-Paul Carlhian, and previously it had been passed down by the family.

Clifford Schorer, an art collector, said: “It was an incredible moment when I saw the Dürer. It was either the greatest forgery I have ever seen – or a masterpiece.”

The artwork was verified by two telltale features, the artist’s monogram was done with the same ink featured in the drawing, and it was done on paper bearing a watermark seen on more than 200 sheets used by the artist.

Albrecht Dürer is a German painter from the renaissance movement, who established his reputation and influence across Europe in his twenties due to his high-quality woodcut prints.

He was in contact with the major Italian artists of his time, including Raphael, Giovanni Bellini, and Leonardo da Vinci, and from 1512 was patronized by Emperor Maximilian I.

Meanwhile, an amazed pensioner has found that a piece of jewellery she was about to bin during a clearout is in fact a diamond worth £2 million.

The stone was bought at a car boot sale many years ago by the woman in her 70s who had dismissed it as being worthless.

But she was convinced to get it valued by a neighbour where she was given the incredible news that the diamond was “off the scale” in terms of its wealth.

Mark Lane, of Featonby’s Auctioneers in North Shields, said the woman came off the street into his shop saying “she just thought she would bring it in as she was passing”.