A woman was recently shocked as she learned that an etching her late father found inside a dumpster nearly 20 years ago is actually a valuable piece of art.
An appraiser from Antiques Roadshow told Cheryl Conroy Warren the piece is an original work by Chinese artist Zao Wou-Ki. Its estimated value is between $10,000 and $15,000.
“I think it’s hysterical,” Warren, of Milford, Conn., told InsideEdition.com Friday. “I think it’s very funny.”
Her father, a construction worker, was on a job at Yale University 17 years ago when he saw the artwork in a dumpster. He took it to Warren, who owned an antiques shop, but didn’t pay much attention to it.
“I was extremely busy at that time,” she said. “I set it aside.”
But recently, while her mother was renovating her kitchen, she came across it again. The frame was broken but the etching was perfectly intact.
“I said, ‘Mom, dad gave me this piece to sell for him. I will get it together to see what it’s worth and sell it for you to have the proceeds for your kitchen,'” she said.
Warren managed to get tickets to “Antiques Roadshow” as the TV show visited Connecticut in June and decided to get the piece appraised.
She found out that the 1951 etching is titled “Flora and Fauna” and is No. 190 of the 200 made by Zao Wou-Ki. The Chinese artist, who was based in Paris, was highly regarded in the mid to late 20th Century. He died in 2013 at age 93.
Warren said she was tickled by the discovery.
“Another person’s trash is another person’s treasure,” she said. “That’s the truth.”