A RUSSIAN painting considered worthless by its owner, a former lumberjack who almost donated it to charity, sold for $1.1 million at a Swedish auction. The painting, which had been left to the man by his wife and was hanging on his wall for almost a decade, turned out to be an 1858 work by Russian master Ivan Aivazovsky entitled "The Battle of Bomarsund", reported The Local yesterday.
The Local reported the unidentified elderly man, a onetime lumberjack who earned his education through correspondence courses, was downsizing to a new home and sent a small Stockholm auction house several boxes of unwanted goods, along with a large canvas.
On a note he had written, "Will you accept these things? Sell what you can and leave the rest to the Red Cross!"
The painting was put up for auction on the internet with a starting price in the $1,200-$1500 range, but when activity around the painting exceeded expectations, the head of the auction house decided to seek expert advice.