Videos by OutKick
A $30 purchase at a Concord, Massachusetts estate sale could be the score of a lifetime for a picker and a Boston entrepreneur who learned of the work after being in the right place at the right time. The story of a 500-year-old masterpiece — “The Virgin and Child with a Flower on a Grassy Bank,” by German Renaissance printmaker Albrecht Dürer making it into the hands of two men in the Boston area is crazy and the piece is expected to make both of them very wealthy.
Imagine you’re running late for a retirement party in 2019 and you forget to grab a gift. Now imagine you’re Clifford Schorer, the entrepreneur, and you stop at a rare book dealer’s house to buy a book only to be asked by the bookseller if you know anything about art.
Well, it turns out Schorer collects art.
That’s when the bookseller tells Schorer that his friend has an Albrecht Dürer drawing. “I said, ‘No. He doesn’t have a drawing. He has an engraving. There are zero drawings by Dürer that are both unknown and privately owned,’” Schorer told the New York Post.
You can probably guess where this story is going. That’s right, Schorer meets the guy who paid $30 for the Dürer at a 2016 estate sale and can’t believe his eyes.
The picker bought the piece at the estate sale for Jean-Paul Carlihan, who had inherited the drawing from his grandfather, who had bought it in Paris in 1919. Carlihan’s family reportedly thought it was a worthless reproduction and it was sold off for the low price of $30.
Schorer and the picker came up with a financial deal where the Boston entrepreneur advanced the guy $100k without knowing if it was an original Dürer.
After a close examination of the piece by experts in London, it was determined that this is 100% the real deal. The picker had actually purchased a 500-year-old drawing that could be worth $50 million at auction.
Schorer, who has the controlling interest in the piece, says it will eventually be sold off when the time is right.
“This is the find of my life,” he said. “Wherever it ends up, I would want to visit it,” he told the Post.
It’s hard to blame Schorer for selling. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that you don’t run into $50 million finds very often. It’s nothing for pickers to throw $100 at an item to find out it’s worth $1,000. Those are nice paydays. There’s running hot on the estate sale market and then there’s turning one into $50 million.
Sell, sell, sell!
This Schorer guy’s luck could run out and he could be hit by an Amazon truck before Christmas. He clearly understands you don’t want to play with fire here. You sell and keep this story in your pocket to tell at the bar the rest of your life.
And for those pickers who haven’t hit a big one. Hang in there. You may run into a Pokemon honey hole one of these days. Don’t give up hope.