A painting by Pablo Picasso that was recently discovered in the closet of a Maine home sold for more than $150,000 at an auction in Massachusetts last weekend.

The Boston Globe first reported the sale. John McInnis Auctioneers of Amesbury, Massachusetts, told the Globe that the piece sold at auction Saturday. The liveauctioneers.com website reported the sale price was $150,000, plus a 24 percent buyer’s premium. The buyer was not identified.

Titled “Le Tricorne,” the work was composed on 16-by-16-inch mixed media paper and served as a maquette for the Spanish artist’s largest work by the same title, which is on exhibit at the New York Historical Society, according to a release on the auctioneers website. A maquette is a preliminary work or sketch. It was signed and dated 1919.

Piscasso, one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, was born in 1881 and died in 1973.

Though the identity of the seller and the location of the home in Maine where the painting was stored for 50 years could not be determined Wednesday, a description of the painting by the seller provided some clues.

The homeowner, who discovered the painting in a closet, provided potential buyers with a description of how the painting made its way to Maine.


The seller told potential buyers that an aunt and grandmother studied in Europe in the 1920s. The great aunt became a professor of English history at Rutgers University in New Jersey and lived in New York City for decades. Each woman enjoyed collecting objects from their travels, including rare books and art.

“Each led an interesting life with uncommon travels, which was afforded to them through their uncle who owned mills in Maine. They were some of the first women to fly to Asia on a trip to buy silk with their uncle,” the seller wrote. “This painting was discovered in a house owned by my great aunt which was passed down to her from her uncle in the late 1930s. The home was later inherited by my father and now me.”

“There were several paintings kept in a closet for 50 years (including this example) which were left by her at the time of the passing of the house to my father and now to me,” the seller said.

The seller and auction house said they understand that the buyer may want to have the painting authenticated by the Picasso Administration, prior to completion of the transaction. If it’s determined that the work is not authentic, the buyer will be given a full refund. The buyer will have at least 120 days to authenticate the work.

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