Like an Antiques Roadshow devotee’s dream come true, a man in Columbus, Ohio, spotted a print signed possibly bearing the signature of Pablo Picasso at his local thrift store and snagged it for $14.14. When he first picked it up, he said he didn’t even notice the faint red signature in the corner of the piece, which advertises a 1958 exhibition of Picasso’s work.
Zach tells The Columbus Dispatch his eye was caught by Picasso’s name at the Volunteers of America store, but he figured it was a nice reproduction. Once he got it home, he took a closer look and saw the red scribble in the corner.
“I started shaking a little bit,” he told the paper. “I realized it wasn’t going to make me rich, but still, how often do you find a Picasso?”
According to the vice president of NYC’s Swann Auction Galleries, who said he’s confident the piece is authentic, the print could sell for up to $6,000 at auction or even double that if sold at a gallery.
The poster is a linocut, a print produced by pressing a design carved into linoleum into ink and then onto paper. It’s known as an artist’s proof, one which was looked at carefully for approval by the artist before subsequent prints are run off.
If you’re preparing to go scour stores for undiscovered Picasso pieces, you likely won’t have any luck — they’re usually easily recognizable, and most people know when they have one. This store says it just slipped through the cracks.
As for Zach, he’s not sure yet what he’ll do with his lucky find if it does turn out to be a real Picasso. He’s looking for full-time work after being laid off two years ago.
“There’s a good chance I’ll probably sell it,” he said. “I want to keep it, but money is tight.”
*Thanks to local thrifters Nadine and Casey for the tip!