Discovering Forgotten Artifacts Worth Millions

Jill Harness

About a month ago, I shared the story of a family discovering what is likely a lost Michelangelo painting that could be worth up to $300 million. Then Colin told you about the brother and sister who discovered a family vase worth $69 million. Just to show that this sort of thing is more common than you think, here's another example of an exceptionally valuable artifact that was just waiting to be discovered.

During World War II, a Parisian woman fleeing from the Nazis left her apartment, never to return again. Strangely, she kept paying the rent on the place, so when she died recently, experts went through her untouched flat to appraise the items left within. That's when they discovered a painting of the woman's grandmother, popular actress Marthe de Florian, by Italian artist Boldini. The painting even had a love note attached. A short while later, the once lost painting went up for auction, earning $2.9 million.

If you have any odd inheritances lying about, it seems this is a good time to visit the Antiques Road Show.