|Photo by Goodwill of Greater Washington|
When the longtime product manager at a Goodwill Donation Center spotted a painting that stood out amid the other donated goods last month, she pulled it aside and sent it to the nonprofit’s e-commerce team in Washington, D.C., which researched the painting and found it was a work of Giovanni Battista Torriglia, a late-19th century Italian painter.
Not knowing more about the specific painting, Goodwill put it up for sale on ShopGoodwill.com, it’s own version of eBay, and watched in amazement at what happened next.
“We saw the bids just begin to rise and then begin to rise substantially,” Brendan Hurley, chief marketing officer for Goodwill of Greater Washington, told ABCNews.com. “At that point we became concerned because we wanted to make sure it was an authentic painting.”
Goodwill pulled the item from the website while it had it professionally appraised. It then found out that the treasure was indeed authentic and worth about $12,000.
The painting depicts a woman holding a teacup and saucer, ordinary objects that, according to art biographers, the artist was well known for painting. The painting is now back on the auction block, and all proceeds from its sale will go to the Goodwill’s Washington chapter’s job-training program for people with disabilities.
Story originally published by ABC News' Katie Kindelan