A newly discovered Renoir painting bought for $7 a few years ago at a flea market will be sold by the Potomack Co. auction house in Alexandria, Va., on September 29, 2012. The painting was in a box with a group of plastic toys and trinkets and the buyer wanted the elaborate picture frame it was in. The painting had the name "Renoir" on the front. When the buyer started to take the picture out of the frame, her mother told her to contact an expert because the painted river scene looked good.
The painting was taken to the auction house and the owner learned the painting was done in the 1870s. It is a listed Renoir painting named "Paysage Bords de Seine" ("Banks of the River Seine"). It is included in a French gallery catalog by name, number, and photograph. The painting was bought by Herbert May, a Maryland collector, in 1925 and stayed in his private collection until 1966. How it got to the flea market is still a mystery. The 6-by-10-inch painting is estimated to bring more than $75,000.
Photo: The Potomack Company