This cat was so shocked because he wasn't looking for anything valuable, he only bought the ugly, $4 painting because it had a nice frame. (He requested that his identity remain anonymous so we don't know his name).
When he got it home he went to remove the cheap painting from the frame but the frame fell apart in his hands and was unusable. However, he noticed a folded-up paper that was between the painting and the wood backing.
When he unfolded the paper he found that it was a copy of The Declaration Of Independence.
He kept it because he thought it was an interesting curiosity piece but when a friend of his saw it and got excited, the friend urged him to take it to a professional.
That's when he called Sotheby's antique auction house and when the experts saw it they knew it was a fantastic original printing from 1776 and in excellent condition.
The story of the first printing
When the Declaration was signed on July 4th, 1776, the original document was given to printer John Dunlap and he printed off about 200 copies to spread the news of America's independence to the 13 colonies.
Of these first printings there are only 25 known copies that exist today and the $4 copy was one of them!
Sotheby's estimated it's worth at about a million dollars but at auction it sold for $2,422,000.00! The person who bought it sold it at auction 9 years later for 8 million dollars!
I love these types of stories because the wealth happens to these people totally by accident.
It's not like they're out there with their metal detectors everyday looking for treasure, it always takes them by complete surprise. lol. And it can happen to any of us!
Thanks for stopping by folks, God bless you all!