Retiree Takes Old Papers to Auction House, Finds $16 MILLION da Vinci Treasure


Every so often the art world is shocked by a piece of art that is found in the most unlikely of places. Well, that happened against this year with the discovery of a drawing made by Leonardo da Vinci himself.

In March, a retired doctor (who was not identified) visited Thaddée Prate, the director of old master pictures at the Tajan auction house in Paris, with a bunch of old drawings that his father had collected, The New York Times reported.

Prate noticed that one of the drawings stood out from the rest, and went to Patrick de Bayser, an expert in “old master drawings,” for a second opinion.

The drawing was of St. Sebastian tied to a tree, and the drawing also had two “scientific” drawings on the reverse.

“I had a sense that it was an interesting 16th century drawing that required more work,” Prate said.

“I said, ‘You can’t believe this is by Leonardo?’” he explained. “But that would have been so incredible.”

Just to be safe, a third expert, Carmen C. Bambach, was called in to examine the drawings. Bambach was certain this drawing was by da Vinci, calling it an “open-and-shut case.”

This drawing was estimated to be worth almost $16 million — which isn’t surprising, considering how old it is and that it was made by da Vinci himself.

The official announcement of the find took place on Dec. 12.

Quartz reported that the Louvre Museum in France can offer a “fair international market value” to acquire the drawing, or a public auction can take place in June 2017.

This is truly a historical find that has generated a lot of excitement within the art community. Finding anything from da Vinci’s time is incredible. If this drawing does go to auction, there is no telling how much it might sell for.

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