Eye catches value in 19th-century painting

Two things I love: auctions—and cathedrals


It’s no wonder this story caught my eye…

I’ll give you the abbreviated version, but if you want to read the long one, it’s right HERE.



In 2013, Christie’s sold this oil painting of Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows for $5,212, believing it to be painted by a follower of famed artist John Constable.


A mere 569 days later, it was sold again, this time by Sotheby’s—for $5.2 million


Constable 2

How can that be?


Although the rest of the story has yet to be written, it seems that what some in the art world are calling a “gargantuan gaffe” by Christie’s was discovered by staff at Sotheby’s. According to the Sotheby’s website, the canvas was

heavily retouched with a dark and opaque pigment which probably dated to the late 19th or early 20th century in a misguided attempt to ‘finish’ the painting. The retouchings on the present painting were readily soluble in the course of its recent cleaning.


Oh, my…


I absolutely love that someone at Sotheby’s didn’t simply assume the painting’s provenance or value. Instead, there was an obvious attempt to look more closely, to spend time with the painting—perhaps even to hope that more was there than met the eye.


And the act of doing due diligence paid off big time!


Simply taking time to slow down and look—looking to SEE—made all the difference… which made me think of making a difference in the world… which brought me full circle to LOOKING TO SEE.


orphan girls


If someone hadn’t looked—actually LOOKED—at these girls and seen their potential, they would have remained in abusive, exploitative situations. Truth is, they were all at mortal risk. Translation: odds were they’d have died within 3-5 years if their realities had remained unchanged. But…


The act of doing due diligence is paying off big time—although you can’t put a price tag on hope and a future!


These girls (and many more) are part of our family at Hope Unlimited for Children. Behind their physical and emotional scars, STDs, and tragic life stories, they are thriving thanks to people who didn’t turn about away from

  • a street kid sleeping on a filthy piece of cardboard (aka a street mattress)
  • a “thug” stealing for survival
  • a lonely, drug-crazed child wandering with no destination


Some of these young ladies have already graduated and are now contributing members of society. Others are well on their way.


They could use some encouragement—from us.


This year, when you sit down to write Valentine cards for family and friends, write an extra one—or more!—for a girl at Hope. Cards can be store-bought, handmade, made by your children… doesn’t matter. Feel free to write a note of encouragement. Click HERE for more details.




Valentines. They take very little effort to send, but when received by a young girl who needs to hear someone SPEAK LOVE to her…  There’s that world of difference!


Anyone willing to join me to encourage these girls?  Who’s “all in”?


Please don’t look away. Look to SEE!


Help uncover the treasure!


Join me for Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound!



  1. That’s a great project! I’m off to read more about it.