“Bares for Rares”
“I just wanted the frame” – painting for three euros turns out to be a masterpiece
A flea market find is for sale at “Bares für Rares”. The graphic turns out to be a work of art – and gives the seller an incredible 13,333 percent profit.
“I’m not interested in the picture,” says Rainer Hermanns from Mönchengladbach honestly. The 72-year-old comes with a graphic for “Bares for Rares”, which he bought at the flea market. “I just wanted the frame,” he reveals. But now he suspects the picture might be more valuable than expected. “Did I get a bargain?” He wants to know.
“It’s a real print,” explains “Bares for Rares” expert Friederike Werner. The sheet comes from the African artist Bruce Onobrakpeya and is signed by him. The work is dated 1984 and there were only 75 pieces in total. You can see a traditional scene of a milk seller with a child. “We are between the figurative and the abstraction, I like that particularly well,” says Werner. The graphics are not only produced using gravure printing, but also using an acid process. “That gives a much better relief.”
“Bares for Rares” expert enthusiastic
Owner Hermanns paid three euros for the picture. “Negotiated from five,” he reveals. Now he would like 100 euros for it. But expert Werner rates the graphics much higher. The artist has already been exhibited in London’s Tate Gallery. Therefore, their estimated price is 400 to 800 euros. “Now I go to the flea market more often,” says Hermanns happily. He was really “flashed”. But what do the dealers say?
“We don’t see African art every day”, Julian Schmitz-Avila and Elisabeth Nüdling agree. Schmitz-Avila starts with 150 euros, Christian Vechtel increases it to 180. Fabian Kahl finds the work of art “special” and does not bid. But Schmitz-Avila and Vechtel raise each other’s bids. Vechtel gets out at 360 euros. “400 euros is my pain threshold,” says Hermanns tough. Schmitz-Avila gives in: “I’ll give it to you.”
Hermanns salesman drives home euphorically. With his three euro stake he achieved an incredible 13,333 percent profit. “There is no more luck.”