A woman paid $7 for a painting by French impressionist Pierre Auguste Renoir that was part of a box of art goods for sale at a flea market in Virginia, ABC reported Monday.
The painting, a landscape of the Seine river entitled "Paysage Bords de Seine," will be auctioned off Sept. 29 by Potomack Company, an art and antiques gallery, and is expected to sell for between $75,000 and $100,000.
"What had actually caught her eye in the box wasn't the valuable Renoir but a plastic cow and a Paul Bunyan doll. She stored the rest of the box's contents first in a white plastic bag in a shed, later in her car's trunk and eventually in her kitchen,"" Anne Norton Craner, a fine arts specialist at the Potomack Company, said.
The woman, who has preferred to remain anonymous, said that she was more interested in the frame than in the painting itself, and started to dismount it.
When she started taking it out of the frame her mother apparently warned her to check it first, which was when she noticed the "Renoir" signature and decided to take it to a specialized gallery for an appraisal.
The painting, according to the records, was last acquired by an attorney in 1926 in Paris, but how it ended up in Virginia is unknown.