A young woman from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania brought a family painting to Antiques Roadshow, and left utterly shocked and much, much richer.
The painting, which she received after her grandmother passed away, "Always hung right above her bed," the owner explained to the evaluator. She continued, saying, "Her dad, I'm guessing, would've given it to her after she spent the summer at a dude ranch when she was 19, in, like, the '40s." She went on to explain that, originally, she wasn't sure if the piece of art was a print or a painting. However, when she got it, there was a mosquito underneath the glass. "I took it out to the front yard and I opened it up to get the mosquito out, so I could take it with me to college, and then it kind of scared me a little. I closed it back up immediately because it looked like it might be real." Thank god for that mosquito, said no one ever. Until now.
The evaluator asked the woman if she had ever had the painting appraised before, to which the owner responded, "In 1998, it was appraised as a print at $200 and, in 2004, it was appraised at $250."
Fortunately for this young owner, it was a real painting by a French artist named Henry Francois Farny, who became friends with the Seneca and Sioux Indians while living in Pennsylvania in the late 1800s. The evaluator explained that Farny "represented Native Americans in a very kind of peaceful, tranquil way," which was visible in the painting. And when it was revealed to the owner that her painting was worth $200,000 to $300,000, she, understandably, freaked out. In fact, the young woman was brought to tears and a loss for words.