A painting by Canadian artist Tom Thomson sold for $110,000 at an auction in Vancouver yesterday (May 16).
The oil painting was discovered in a garage sale by the lucky consignors, who bought the work for just $50. The buyers, not realising its worth, carried the painting to the auction house for appraisal wrapped in a plastic bag.
After nearly being overlooked, one sharp-eyed auctioneer decided to have the painting examined by experts, in an authentication process which took nearly two months.
The previously unknown work was eventually confirmed as an original work by the iconic landscape artist Tom Thomson, who was a major source of inspiration to the famed Group of Seven collective.
One of Canada's best-loved artists, Thomson's work has previously seen spectacular results at auction. In 2008, an oil depicting Early Spring at Canoe Lake, Ontario, where Thomson died in mysterious circumstances, brought $2.75m, setting a record for the artist at auction.
Several works from the Group of Seven, or Algonquin School, artists will go on sale tonight (May 17), in another Vancouver sale. The auction marks the start of the spring auction season in Canada, with another major sale from Sotheby's expected on May 24.
With blue-chip art becoming increasingly expensive, now is the time to invest in second and third tier artists, such as the Group of Seven, who won't stay at affordable prices for long in the current market.
Paul Fraser Collectibles will be bringing you the latest news from these sales in the coming days, so be sure to check our Art & Photography news section regularly for the results.