A MAN with a keen sense for valuables hit the jackpot online after snatching two broken antiques that proved valuable and were valued at approximately $400,000.
Paul Brown, 56, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was inquiring about stained glass windows in an old church west of the city when he came across an ad on Facebook Marketplace.
Brown intended to salvage and restore the windows, which were cracked and dusty and would have been demolished along with the rest of the church had it not been for the jamb, per Artnet News.
Brown told The New York Times that he was asked, “Would you like to take those windows out before we take them out with the sledgehammer?”
Built in 1901, the building was converted into the Emmanuel Christian Center and caused controversy among local preservationists, so the stained glass windows were put up for auction and eventually sold to Brown for $6,000.
The collector immediately recognized that the salvaged windows were of great value and went to Freeman’s auction house to have them appraised.
The windows turned out to be 1905 designs from Tiffany Studios, a workshop founded by Louis Comfort Tiffany in 1878 to supply stained glass windows to churches across the United States.
The New York-based studio has worked on several notable churches, including St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church.
Once restored, the windows are expected to sell for approximately $150,000 to $200,000 each at an upcoming auction.
Brown had to pay workers to remove the windows from the old church and pay a $50,000 restoration fee, but the collector was still to be repaid many times the amount originally paid.
The stained windows feature vibrant color patterns, with yellow and green detailing in the center of each window and shades of blue and purple on the outside.
One window has a crown in the center representing Christ, while the other has a white dove representing the Holy Spirit.
The auction, which takes place Thursday at 11 a.m. in Philadelphia, will also feature custom-made wooden frames for the stained-glass windows.
Tim Andreadis, director of design at Freeman auction house, explained that the designs and history of the Philadelphia windows contribute to the high value of the items.
“The complexity of these works is breathtaking and it makes sense to bring pieces to market that have such a deep and meaningful history in Philadelphia,” he told Artnet News.
The windows are still valued at around $400,000 a pair, but some estimate they could sell for half a million.
Brown is also not the only collector and collector who makes a lot of money from a find.
As previously reported by The US Sun, TikToker Nancy Cavaliere regularly went to a thrift store after work in New York City.
One day in 2017, Cavaliere noticed four black plates painted in a style reminiscent of Pablo Picasso’s artworks.
The Salvation Army sold the plates for $1.99 each, and when the influencer noticed a name written on the bottom, he snapped them up.
Cavaliere later confirmed the authenticity of the plates designed by Picasso himself.
“Although I’m very knowledgeable about art furniture, historical styles, etc., I didn’t know that Picasso made ceramics,” she explained in her interview Video.
In 2018, Cavaliere sold three of the four plates for $16,250, $12,000, and $15,000 at auction.
The fourth copy, signed by the famous artist, remains in a locker to increase in value over time.