“When opportunity shops knock”


‘…. Kay Gray paid $US45 for the semi-abstract painting, took it home and displayed it with her collection of modern pottery. On a whim, she did an internet search on the name written on the back of the wooden frame.

“When I Googled John Coburn, up popped all these beautiful paintings and all I could think was ‘Oh my God’,” she says. “I thought it was a nice piece and well painted, but I sure never thought it could be by someone famous.”

She contacted an Australian art consultant and broker, David Hulme, who recognised it immediately as Coburn’s work. “The signature is pretty distinctive, and the texture of the paint and the style of the work is also very Coburn. Then there’s the inscription on the back with his address at the time clearly written,” he says. “It’s definitely legitimate and a very exciting find.” ….

Hulme gave the painting a market value of $20,000 and advised Gray and her husband to insure it for $30,000. “But if it came up for auction it could do even better because it’s an unknown work and it’s turned up in such unusual circumstances,” he says. ….’

Written by

Brigitte Banziger

Hello, my name is Brigitte Banziger and I am an art consultant and manager at Banziger Hulme Fine Art Consultants, Australia's art valuation and art advice experts. We offer comprehensive art valuation and art brokerage services (selling and buying art on behalf of clients). Our art services cover everything from valuations, art care and restoration, to general advice such as helping define the goals for your art collection and work out the best strategy on how to achieve those goals, including where, how and when to buy or sell.

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