A 400-Year-Old Dutch Masterpiece Was Found In An Iowa Storeroom
In February of 2016, Robert Warren, the director of Iowa's historic Hoyt Sherman Place, went rummaging through the building's storage spaces in search of some Civil-War-era flags to celebrate President's Day. Instead he found something a little more ... naked-god-having.
Warren found a painting stashed in a storeroom under the building's second-story balcony, and noticed it had an auction tag from the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art attached, identifying it as a painting of "Fedorico Baroccio." This turned out to be a misspelling of early Baroque painter Federico Barocci's name, but art scholars found its true origins to be far more interesting. It was actually painted by Otto van Veen, an extremely prominent Dutch artist (and the mentor of Peter Paul Rubens), whose works currently hang in the Louvre, the National Portrait Gallery, and all the other greatest hits of buildings in which art hangs.
The painting is called "Apollo And Venus," and was made sometime between 1595 and 1600. It was loaned to the Met by a private collector named Bartholomew Collins, who then took it with him when he moved to Des Moines, and he later bequeathed it to the Des Moines Women's Club after his death. They don't know why it was stashed underneath the Hoyt Sherman Place (which is now used as a theater), but theorized it either needed some repairs or was too risque to hang publicly in the Women's Club, what with its sexy Venus ass and Cupid full-frontal and all.
Otto van VeenWho knew Civil-War-era flags were so ... sexxxxy?
The painting, which was easily worth in the millions, was eventually restored and displayed at the theater, and THE HOYT SHERMAN PLACE WAS SAVED!!!!! Hooray! Oh wait, it was never in danger of closing down? Well, cool. Anyway, it's hanging there now.
$2.5 Million In World War II Cash Turns Up Under the Floorboards Of A Camping Store
Construction workers in the UK were digging underneath a modern-day outdoor clothing store and kept coming across wads of muddy, decaying banknotes that dated back to the early half of the 20th century. Altogether, the wartime notes added up to 1.5 million pounds (over $2 million) with inflation factored in. Sussex police took the moldy notes into their possession for "safekeeping," adding "And by 'safekeeping' we definitely don't mean power-washing the bills so they're suitable for gentlemen's clubs."
Sussex Police*Slaps this shit down on the bar* Round of shots on me.
So how'd it get there? From 1936 to 1973, the spot belonged to Bradleys Gown, a furrier and couturier dating back to the 1860s. Authorities contacted Howard Bradley, the store's last surviving heir to the family business, with that classic "Yo, we found a bunch of filthy money blobs under your grandpa's old fur store" phone call we all expect to receive one day.
Bradley didn't have any direct explanation for the stashed cash, but did note that his father and uncle both enlisted in the very early days of the war effort, and that his family did have some Jewish lineage, so they would've been acutely aware of the global political situation and probably took some financial "precautions" in case anything happened to London that would've forced them to flee.
Jeez, why don't people just put stuff in safes?
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For more, check out 8 Incredible Discoveries People Just Sort Of Stumbled Into and 5 Pieces Of Junk That Turned Out To Be Invaluable Artifacts.
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