Flea Market Painting Goes Under The Hammer For GBP 330,000

A man who bought a painting at a local flea market for a few hundred pounds was stunned to learn it was the work of a famous artist and worth at least GBP 330,000 when he sold it at an auction.

The flea market-goer, whose identity was not revealed, made what was likely the find of his life at the Kanzlei Flea Market in Zurich, Switzerland.

About 10 years ago, he paid CHF 400 (GBP 351) for the painting by the Chinese artist Lin Fengmian.

Last week (18th June), the painting was auctioned at Koller Auction House for CHF 375,000 (GBP 329,975).

The man did not even know the artist when he bought the painting, says Regi Preiswerk, Head of the Asian Art Department at Koller Auctions.

Image shows Cuno Amiet’s “Portrait of Ferdinand Hodler”, undated photo. It sold for CHF 1.35 million (GBP 1.18 million) in Zurich, Switzerland. (Koller Auctions, Zurich/Newsflash)

Preiswerk said in a statement obtained by Newsflash: “He fell in love with the painting, which is why he bought it at the time.”

The man did not participate in the auction himself, as Preiswerk suspects he was a bit nervous.

When two of his friends later informed him of the sale price, he was initially not happy, Preiswerk said.

The art expert noted: “He was sad that the painting had left his collection.”

However, Preiswerk said that he could not complain about the result: “The lot was sold well above the estimated sale price of CHF 180,000 (GBP 158,425).”

The Zurich seller is an art collector who frequently visits flea markets.

Preiswerk said: “He buys what he likes – and he really liked the painting by Lin.”

The painting is a dynamic and powerful work depicting the Monkey King Sun Wukong and his opera entourage in the piece “Havoc in Heaven.”

The man had seen that Koller Auction House had sold a painting by the same artist a few years ago.

Image shows Ferdinand Hodler’s “Lake of Geneva with the Jura mountains”, undated photo. It sold for CHF 5.1 million (GBP 4.9 million) in Zurich, Switzerland. (Koller Auctions, Zurich/Newsflash)

Preiswerk added: “When he approached us, we were happy to appraise and auction his painting.”

In addition to Fengmian’s painting, works by Ferdinand Hodler, Cuno Amiet, and Marianne von Werefkin also went under the hammer.

Hodler’s painting, a view of Lake Geneva, was sold to a Swiss private collector for CHF 5.1 million (GBP 4.4 million), achieving the top result of the auction week.


To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Simona KitanovskaSub-Editor: Simona Kitanovska, Agency: Newsflash

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