One person's trash turns out be a real treasure

8:35 PM, May 5, 2008   |    comments
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"I found this painting in a dumpster about 10 years ago, along with several other items that just looked interesting," said Bullock.

So she gave the other items away to a friend, but for some unknown to her reason, kept the painting. Something told her to do it, she said.

"The colors weren't the colors that I like, the colors weren't attractive. The frame was ugly - just wasn't anything I'd put on my wall and be proud of," she said.

So Bullock kept it in a closet for 10 years, in two different homes.

"Each time I moved I thought of about throwing it away," she said. "There were times in between those nine years when I'd open up the closet and would see it in there and I would wonder, 'Why do you still have this?'"

She did initially try to research the piece, but 10 years ago, Bullock said, the Internet was not what it is now.

"(It) fit in the closet nicely, I even used the picture to hold up other papers behind it - to keep stuff from falling," Bullock laughed.

Bullock moved once more last fall and finally hung the painting in her home. This time, she knew who the author was: Takanori Oguiss. The piece was called "Coin De Paris, Rue de Meaux."

She didn't know how to go about selling it, until a December segment on 9NEWS featuring a new Web site:

The site is for fine art, antiques and collectibles, designed to help people monetize things from garages and attics. People can ask members of the site for free advice on an antique or pay an expert, a "worthologist," $14.95 to determine if their find is a treasure.

After an expert determined exactly what Bullock had, she chose to sell it at Sotheby's. The painting will be auctioned off Thursday.

"To think that I actually have something there is probably more exciting than then money, just knowing I had something that sold at Sotheby's," Bullock said.

The painting is estimated at $70,000 to $90,000. The final amount after taxes and commission could be considerably less, but Bullock doesn't care.

"I wouldn't have that money in the beginning and I almost threw that much money away, so you think about it and it could've been in the trash. That's a lot."

Bullock says there is a possibility the painting doesn't sell Thursday, but she's optimistic. She says she'll give some money to charity, put it towards her children's college and maybe take a vacation.

Both Christies & Sotheby's Auction Houses offer free appraisals online and by mail.
To sell at at Sotheby's, visit

For more information on Worthpoint, visit

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