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Woman buys $32 painting from Goodwill then spots signature on bottom right that looks familiar
She only bought the painting because the image looked like her cat. Little did she know she'd soon make a shocking discovery.
Ma Fatima Garcia
06.03.22

When you have an eye for beauty, you know you shouldn’t snob a dollar thrift store.

You need patience, a keen eye, and a passion to find ‘treasures’ from thrift stores.

Grace Carpender, a Phoenix resident, is a home stager, Interior designer, a beautiful mom of two, and a self-confessed thrifting addict.

This gorgeous lady knows that there are treasures in thrift stores.

She loves going to thrift shops, and indeed, she gets so many aesthetically pleasing finds.

Last May 2, Carpenter was waiting at a bus stop.

TikTok Video Screenshot / gracecarpenterdes
Source:
TikTok Video Screenshot / gracecarpenterdes

Because she still had some time left, Carpenter headed to the Phoenix Goodwill store on Seventh Avenue and Indian School Road.

While checking the items, one painting caught her attention.

It was a painting of a woman holding a cat, and when she looked at the price tag, it was for sale for $32. Carpenter bought the painting because it was cheap, she had a 20% off coupon, and the cat looked like her pet Max.

TikTok Video Screenshot / gracecarpenterdes
Source:
TikTok Video Screenshot / gracecarpenterdes

What she didn’t know was that her purchase was just the beginning of another story.

Carpenter went home, and after some time, she looked at the painting again. This time, she noticed a familiar signature.

She saw what looked like a “CHAS CRAIG” signature on the painting. There was also a 1912 date on it.

Out of curiosity, Carpenter posted a video about her painting on TikTok where it quickly garnered over 1.8 million views.

That’s not all. Carpenter’s followers blew up, and she now has 20,000 followers.

People were also intrigued about the signature and that it really looked like a Chas Craig work.

TikTok Video Screenshot / gracecarpenterdes
Source:
TikTok Video Screenshot / gracecarpenterdes

Who’s Chas Craig?

Charles Craig a.k.a Chas Craig was a famous American painter. He was born in 1846 and his works are very popular. In fact, some of his work has been in auctions many times.

Many commenters saw the signature and one of them suggested to Carpenter attend an Antiques Roadshow.

TikTok Video Screenshot / gracecarpenterdes
Source:
TikTok Video Screenshot / gracecarpenterdes

“Someone said, ‘I see that you work in Tennessee pretty frequently,” Carpenter said to AZCentral. “I have an extra ticket, would you like to go?’ So I went last week.”

She went to the Antique Roadshow, and true enough, the painting she was holding was indeed a work of Chas Craig!

But there’s a twist, according to the appraiser.

TikTok Video Screenshot / gracecarpenterdes
Source:
TikTok Video Screenshot / gracecarpenterdes

The appraiser looked and said that the painting was interesting. Then he asked a colleague to look at the painting and they said:

“Thank you so much for bringing this in, it’s so special. It’s our favorite one from today.’ And then he showed me that the cat had been painted into the painting years later,” said Carpenter.

Now, most of the work of Chas Craig would sell for $500 dollars, but since the cat had been added years later, it makes the painting much more special.

TikTok Video Screenshot / gracecarpenterdes
Source:
TikTok Video Screenshot / gracecarpenterdes

The appraiser said that they can price the painting for around $2,000.

“He said he wouldn’t let it out of the gallery for less than $2,000 dollars,” Carpenter told the interviewer. “If you really look at the painting now, it makes sense. Her face is so detailed and it’s really beautiful and this cat is like graffiti so it’s really funny once you know what you’re looking at.”

Though Carpenter doesn’t have any plans of selling her priced painting, after all, the cat looks like Max, and she plans on keeping this beautiful ‘treasure.”

TikTok Video Screenshot / gracecarpenterdes
Source:
TikTok Video Screenshot / gracecarpenterdes

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By Ma Fatima Garcia
hi@sbly.com
Ma Fatima Garcia is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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