Washington Portrait, Once Ignored, Now Up For Auction
I'm a sucker for the priceless piece in the attic stories. I think a lot of people are, it fuels our fantasies that treasure might exist right under our noses. That's certainly the case in the story of Oliver Chanler who paid little attention to a George Washington portrait hanging in his parents library. He assumed that the painting was a copy but found out around 10 years ago that the picture is actually an original Gilbert Stuart. Stuart's paintings of Washington hang in museums around the U.S. and some sell deep in the millions. That won't be true of this one, the smaller piece is up for sale on March 27 through Cottone Auctions in Geneseo, N.Y. with an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000. The painting has never been restored or cleaned. Chanler happens to be related to the the United States' first multimillionaire, John Jacob Astor, so the provenance seems assured and it could be possible that Astor was the original owner of the painting. Chanler's great-grandfather, John Winthrop Chanler, who served in the House of Representatives definitely owned the work.