Art market

Paintings dumped at charity shop make six figures

The paintings were appraised after a Goodwill employee spotted the pair

A pair of paintings dropped into a charity bin realised a combined total of C$159,000 ($138,000) at Waddington’s 9 June auction in Toronto. Both were bought by an unidentified European buyer, eclipsing pre-sale estimates of C$30,000-C$50,000. The 16x23-inch oil paintings of Venetian scenes, signed by Peruvian-born Federico del Campo and dated 1895 (A Sunlit Venetian Backwater with Gondoliers, right), had been deposited last autumn in a collection bin at Goodwill, a non-profit agency which runs thrift stores in Toronto. A Goodwill employee, Helen Zhuang, suspected that the paintings were of value and had them appraised, said Goodwill spokesman Mitzie Hunter. “Otherwise, she would have put [them] out on the floor. It would have been a special feature in the store, priced at maybe $250.”