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Virginia woman buys $7 Renoir painting at flea market
Virginia woman buys $7 Renoir painting at flea market

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Virginia woman who paid $7 for a Renoir painting at a flea market - and ignored it until a recent cleaning spree - will sell the piece this month for what should be a tidy profit.

Try $75,000 to $100,000, according to auctioneer Potomack Co., which will handle the sale of "Paysage Bords de Seine" by impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

While shopping at a West Virginia flea market a year or two ago, the woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, unwittingly found the painting in a box of knickknacks priced at $7, she said on Wednesday.

A recent attempt to de-clutter her home had her face-to-face with the painting again.
Though the painting was signed a Renoir, she thought nothing of it and hoped that its gold frame might be of some use to her.

But her mother encouraged her to get the painting appraised.

"I actually listened to my mom for once," the woman said in an interview.

She then contacted the Potomack Co., where she showed it to fine arts specialist Anne Craner.

"It had Renoir's colours, his brush stroke," said Craner, who was later able to verify the authenticity through a catalogue.

The auction will take place September 29.

The lucky woman said she is still waiting for the shock to subside.

"I just want to enjoy it quietly," she said.

She plans to take her mother to France after the auction and will make an effort to take some flowers Renoir's grave.

"I just want to say thank you," she said.

(Editing by Paul Thomasch and Doina Chiacu)