So often the people who clean out closets, attics, barns, the people who dumpster-dive or buy something for $5 at a thrift shop or garage sale, unwittingly, hit the jackpot and find out the painting they own is worth 20 thousand for a small amateurish-looking painting.
Even the people who know they have something important get surprised anyway. The woman who was given an “ugly” pop art print by her friend who dragged her to modern art shows, the person who had the Frank Lloyd Writing architectural designs, the American woman that owned a nice (Canadian) painting (turned out to be a rare Krieghoff). All of them astounded by the 70,000 to 1.2 million kinds of estimates. Having ‘greatness’ of value thrust upon them as surely as a winning lottery ticket.
Some weep openly, some hug the appraiser; some coolly say “Very nice” or “Good God’; some say “Not a bad bargain for something free”. A range of responses, tones and moods. Often, though, sheer disbelief that the item taken for granted could be worth that kind of money. Some say, defensively, “It’s staying in the family”; others “Wanna buy it?
Responses 360 degree different from the folks who assume too much and get an unexpected ‘comeuppance’ on what they confidently bought from an investment perspective.