Newell Convers Wyeth Painting: From $4 to $191,000

Newell Convers Wyeth Painting, Titled Ramona, Fell Into Hands of a Woman Who Acquired It for $4 From a Savers Second Hand Shop.

Sep 20, 2023By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
Newell Convers Wyeth
Newell Convers Wyeth, Ramona (detail). Image courtesy of Bonhams.


Newell Convers Wyeth Painting, Titled Ramona, caught a woman’s eye who was looking for ancient photo frames, to buy and sell them again. While searching, she came upon a painting at a Savers second-hand shop in New Hampshire in 2017. But, why are we talking about it now, if she acquired it in 2017? She rapidly neglected the piece of art, which sat in a cabinet.


Facebook Sleuths Helped in Identifying the Piece

Ramona. Image courtesy of Bonham’s.


The painting accumulated dust until this year’s spring cleaning season. The woman managed to figure out the art with the aid of Facebook sleuths. Overall, the piece is a unique illustration by American artist N.C. Wyeth. The woman donated the piece to the Bonhams Skinner auction house after learning that her acute sense for creative treasures may have earned her the prize.


Bonhams Skinner auction house is in Marlborough, Massachusetts. She gave the piece for the American Art sale that occurred yesterday, September 19. The artwork brought in a staggering $191,000 (including the purchaser’s premium). It easily exceeded the initial projections of $150,000 to $250,000. The pawnshop heist is one of four potential frontispiece drawings created by Wyeth, according to Bonhams’ experts.


Newell Convers Wyeth. Via Wikipedia


That front piece illustration was Wyeth for a 1939 edition of Helen Hunt Jackson’s novel Ramona. The novel describes the existence of a fictitious girl who is of blended Scottish and Native American ancestry. That girl became an orphan soon after the Mexican-American War in 1848 came to an end. This powerful yet delicate image portrays Ramona taking a rebellious attitude toward her foster mother.

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Unknown How It Came to a Flea Market

Odysseus and Penelope Reunited by Newell Convers Wyeth, 1929, via the Brandywine River Museum of Art, Pennsylvania


The lady in question Seora Moreno, whose severe black clothing effectively conveys her icy demeanor. The American painter was born in 1882 and died in 1945. He worked as an illustrator for magazines and authors for several decades. Wyeth made the four designs for Ramona in the late 1930s at his studio in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.


Additionally, he forwarded them to Little, Brown and Co. The illustration may have finally been given by the publisher to an editor or Jackson’s property, according to specialists, but it is unknown how it came to be in a flea market in New Hampshire. The fortunate woman wishes to stay unnamed.


Details of Odysseus and Polyphemus by Arnold Böcklin, 1896, via the Museum of Fine Arts Boston; with Odyssey: Odysseus and Penelope Reunited by Newell Convers Wyeth, 1929, via the Brandywine River Museum of Art, Pennsylvania


She has already begun to make plans for how the painting’s substantial final price would assist in paying the bills and even cover a trip for her and her husband to Germany to see one of their children. She has purchased an original copy of Ramona, which she intends to frame, so she can display a reminder of Wyeth’s illustration that changed her life in her house.

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By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.