ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- A painting bought at a flea market in Virginia may turn out to be a rare bargain: a work by French master Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
It was bought by a woman as part of a box lot that included a Paul Bunyan doll and a plastic cow, and cost her about $50.
Experts at the Potomac Company, based in Alexandria, Va., say they believe the small pastel-colored painting is Renoir's "Paysage Bords de Seine," a river scene from about 1879.
It was bought from a French gallery in 1925 and later sold to a Maryland collector, but art historians aren't sure when or how it disappeared.
The painting is expected to fetch between $75,000 and $100,000 at an auction later this month.
"You just see it and you know it's right," Ann Craner, Potomac's fine arts specialist, told the New York Times.
Craner said that the woman brought the painting to Potomac in a large white plastic bag.
"She liked the look of the frame, and started tearing off the paper on the back, and her mum told her to stop," because it might be worth something, she recounted.
Woman Buys Valuable Renoir Original for $50 at Flea Market
The painting is expected to fetch $100,000 at auction.
Woman buys valuable Renoir painting for $50 at a flea market.