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Lucky Shopper Finds Rare Art Piece at Woodside Thrift Shop, Now Valued at $200K

The Egon Schiele sketch discovered at a Woodside thrift store (Photo: Galerie St Etienne)

July 26, 2019 By Christian Murray

A savvy art enthusiast discovered an original drawing by a famed Austrian artist at a Woodside thrift store that has been priced at nearly $200,000.

The buyer, who has remained anonymous, found a sketch by Egon Schiele while browsing at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore thrift shop at 62-01 Northern Blvd., reported The Art Newspaper last week.

The buyer bought the piece on a hunch and reached out to Jane Kallir, director of Galerie St. Etienne and an expert on Schiele’s work, via e-mail in June to confirm his find.

Kallir, in an interview with The Art Newspaper, said that most of the time when she is reached about a supposed Schiele find—it pans out to be bogus. She noted that the e-mail was accompanied by attachments that contained blurry photographs.

“Ninety percent of the time they’re wrong,” Kallir said, who has been authenticating Schiele drawings for decades. “Most of them are fakes—egregious copies,” she told the outlet.

The man brought the artwork to the gallery and Kallir was reportedly floored when she discovered it was a 1918 Schiele sketch.

“It was a girl who modelled for Schiele frequently, both alone and sometimes with her mother, in 1918,” Kallir told The Art Newspaper.

Other drawings of the girl are currently in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Leopold Museum in Vienna.

The drawing is on display at Galerie St. Etienne, located at 24 W 57th St., through Oct. 11. It is also for sale through the gallery.

The Woodside thrift store at 62-01 Northern Blvd. where the Egon Schiele sketch was discovered (GMaps)

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