Beth Feeback had a really good weekend. The North Carolina woman who bought a painting for $9.99 from a Goodwill store sale saw it sell for more than $27,000 at a Sotheby's auction.
"It's a great return on $9.99," Feeback said Sunday night.
The sale price listed on the Sotheby's website, $34,375.00, reflects the final gavel price plus a premium the buyer must pay, she explained. The painting had been expected to sell for between $15,000 and $20,000.
Feeback of Concord bought the painting, "Vertical Diamond" by Ilya Bolotowsky, in April. She wasn't attracted to the style at all, but she wanted to re-use the canvas to paint cat portraits, which are her specialty.
A friend cautioned her to check out the labels on the painting before she put paintbrush to canvas, and after a few months during which the painting languished on the floor of her art studio, she did.
Now, Feeback has a whole new appreciation for Bolotowsky and his work.
"The first time I Googled that artist's name, I was like, 'This is the most beautiful damned painting I've ever seen in my life,'" she said, tongue in cheek.
The auction took place Friday, and Feeback gathered family and friends from a viewing party online.
She was nervous at first.
"I like to set my expectations low because … Murphy's Law is my religion and I was just afraid that it wouldn't sell at all … ," she said.
As she and the others gathered at her home watched the auction, she added, "we could see that some of the paintings sold for much more [than] the value that the auction house had put on them and some sold for much less and an uncomfortable number of them did not sell at all, so that's how come I was concerned."
Feeback doesn't know who the buyer was, but, she said, "I wish that person very well and I hope they re-sell it for twice as much as they bought it for."
Asked about her plans for her windfall, Feeback said she and her husband plan to perform necessary and long-delayed improvements to their home and pay down debts.
She also plans to do a series of knockoff "Vertical Diamond" paintings with big cat heads in the middle of them, she said.