$9,000 art­work bought for $12 at Good­will

Austin American-Statesman - - THE SECOND FRONT -

$12.34 at a Good­will store in Mil­wau­kee. It turned out to be a lithograph by Amer­i­can artist Alexan­der Calder worth $9,000.

Mal­let’s good for­tune is at least the fourth time in six months that valu­able art has turned up at Good­will, where bar­gain­hunters search for hid­den trea­sure among the cof­fee cups, jew­elry, lamps and other house­hold cast-offs.

Last month, a Sal­vador Dali sketch found at a Good­will shop in Ta­coma, Wash., sold for $21,000. Last sum­mer, a North Carolina woman pock­eted more than $27,000 for a paint­ing she bought for $9.99 at Good­will. And last spring, a dusty jug do­nated in Buf­falo, N.Y., was dis­cov­ered to be a thou­sands-of-year­sold Amer­i­can In­dian ar­ti­fact — it was re­turned to its tribe in­stead of be­ing of­fered for sale.

When told of the Mil­wau­kee woman’s find, a Good­will spokes­woman said work­ers at its 2,700 stores try to spot valu­ables and auc­tion them on the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s on­line auc­tion site to net more money for the char­i­ta­ble group. But things slip through the cracks and the work­ers aren’t art ex­perts.

“That’s kind of part of shop­ping at Good­will — the thrill of the hunt,” said Cheryl Lightholder, com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager for Good­will in south­east­ern Wis­con­sin. “You never know what you’re go­ing to find.”

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