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$40 Yard Sale Junk Turns Out To Be $14 Million Masterpiece

It’s always nice to pick up a bargain at a yard sale, but one person has struck antique gold in the U.S.

A 16th century drawing was purchased at a yard sold in 2017 for just US$30 (AU$40) in 2017.

It has now been valued at over AU$14 million after it was discovered to be a long-lost piece by German Renaissance painter Albrecht Dürer.

Dürer died in 1528 and left behind a legacy that has him regarded as one of the greatest German painters of his time and an important part of the European Renaissance.

A press release from London auction house Agnews Gallery, which currently holds the painting, said the find has been “the subject of significant interest since its rediscovery”.

Titled ‘The Virgin and Child with a Flower on a grassy Bench’, it is believed to have been completed in 1503.

Clifford Schorer, a consultant to Agnews Gallery, came across the piece in 2019 by accident.

Having taken a detour to a bookstore to find a gift, he was told by the store clerk that a friend had a Dürer drawing.

Speaking to CNN, Schorer said he did not have much hope that the drawing was legitimate.

“Generally speaking it’s an inverse relationship between how dramatic the claim is and how much of a let down it is,” he said.

“If someone tells me they have a Leonardo [da Vinci], I’m usually pretty confident I’m going to see some images that are unimpressive.”

However, once he saw the artwork, he said ”it’s either the greatest forgery I’ve ever seen or a masterpiece”.

It has taken three years and 17 flights around the world looking for experts to verify the artwork.