Man Discovers Rare Painting in Unusual Place

Image of man's aunt and her sewing table.

Stumbling across a lost piece of art can be quite an experience. This is especially true when finding a rarity produced by masters like Van Gogh or Picasso.

Back in 2004, Carl Sabatino’s aunt Jenny told him to check her sewing machine. A few days away from her death, she kept reminding him. What he found was a Pablo Picasso painting called “Woman With a Cape”. A small compartment in the old sewing table had been concealing the painting for decades.

Sabatino showed Inside Edition exactly how he discovered the piece and what steps he’s taken to authenticate it since. The original painting is on exhibit at The Cleveland Museum of Art. Signed in the upper left corner, it’s estimated that Picasso completed it around 1901.

Sabatino’s family has their own story about how they came into possession of what’s believed to be Picasso’s own replica. Aunt Jenny’s husband picked it up from a street vendor in London during the time of World War II. He paid only a few dollars for the painting. Auntie hid it for safekeeping ever since.

Spending decades doing research and hiring experts to help solve the riddle, Carl Sabatino had a couple of possible breakthroughs. He found out that Picasso, who was known for experimenting with his craft, had been dabbling with a special color printing technique that was around during the late ‘30s. This led him to believe that was the reason for this recreation in the first place.

Additionally, an appraiser who specializes in Picassos is convinced that the painting is legit. After combing through piles of massive paperwork, including specialized tests on the pigment, and examining the signature, expert Richard Beau Lieu gave it his stamp of approval.

The most interesting part of the mystery? A partial fingerprint found on the edge of the print believed to belong to Picasso himself. As reported by NBC News, Sabatino sent the painting off to forensic experts to have it analyzed and verified. There are no other known cases of Picasso leaving a print on any of his other works. If that were the case, its value could soar.

According to PabloPicasso.org, during his nearly eight-decade career, the artist produced over 13,000 paintings and 100,000 prints or engravings. He was also a talented sculptor, with more than 300 pieces under his belt. But in the art world theft is common, and Picasso’s stolen works are estimated to be around 350 pieces.

With such a large figure of missing creations unaccounted for, there’s always a chance of someone finding one of these lost treasures. The value of some of these works is astonishing! Sabatino has been storing this piece in a fireproof case, protected from any outside elements.

To hear more about Carl Sabatino and his family’s story, watch the video below. And check out how much this painting could fetch if put up for auction!

You never know what treasures are laying around your family’s home collecting dust. For this man, it’s a rare one indeed. What are your thoughts on this story? Are you convinced or are you a skeptic? Tell us in the comments!