The saga of the $4 thrift store portray has a contented ending in spite of everything.
On Thursday, the uncommon N.C. Wyeth illustration that Tracy Donahue discovered years in the past for a cut price at a Savers was handed over to a consultant of Heritage Auctions at a public library in Keene, New Hampshire.
The consultant, Aviva Lehmann, had learn an article in The New York Instances about how Donahue and her husband, Tom, had been disillusioned to be taught that the bidder who agreed to pay $191,000 at an public sale in September then didn’t cough up the money.
“I had a visceral response,” Lehmann mentioned.
She resolved to promote it, had a selected personal collector in thoughts and closed the deal one latest morning at 3 a.m. when that very same collector, with out prompting, despatched her a message out of the blue.
The collector had additionally learn concerning the portray and wished it.
“Kismet,” Lehmann mentioned.
On Thursday, the Donahues drove from their New Hampshire residence to the library and met Lehmann, who had pushed up from New York. Portray went a technique. Receipt for wire switch of the cash into the Donahues’ account went the opposite.
All of which led Donahue to ask her husband, “Can we afford to go to lunch?”
On the barbecue restaurant, like somebody biting an outdated nickel, Tom Donahue checked the banking app on his telephone to verify the cash had been deposited.
“Tom has proven me 4 instances already,” Tracy Donahue mentioned.
Nobody is saying who the customer was or what precisely he paid. However Lehmann mentioned, “It’s six figures.”
For months, after discovering that the hulking portray they’d as soon as saved in a closet was helpful, the Donahues had dreamed of utilizing the funds from its sale to pay payments and go to their son in Germany. He was their first name Thursday. “Begin planning,” Tracy Donahue mentioned. “We’re coming!”
There’s additionally probably a brand new dishwasher of their future, together with one thing to “go it ahead” throughout the vacation season, she mentioned.
She admitted being a bit crestfallen to have parted with “Ramona,” a frontispiece illustration that was a part of a four-image set Wyeth contributed to a 1939 version of the Helen Hunt Jackson novel of the identical identify.
However she mentioned Lehmann had promised to make her a true-to-scale print of the portray after Heritage cleaned and restored it. Tracy Donahue plans to have the print framed so it is going to look somewhat bit like the unique.
“It’s a tremendous finish to all of this,” she mentioned. “I nonetheless get to benefit from the portray.”
This text initially appeared in The New York Instances.