On Her Death Bed, His Aunt Whispers A Hiding Place. Leads To $25 Million Dollar Payday [video]

Updated March 15, 2017

Losing a loved one is never easy. Even if they live a long and happy life, family members and friends are still left to grieve and cling to the memories that they had with that special person in their life. One grandfather went to the extent of making pillows out of his old shirts, so his children and grandchildren would always remember him. And others leave behind special jewels or decor that can be passed down forever. And then, of course, there are those hidden things that we find along the way, long after our loved one has left the earth. Sometimes it’s an old letter that we stumble across or a perfume scent that drums up some happy memories.

When Carl Sabatino’s aunt passed away, it wasn’t easy, as it never is losing a loved one. But, while she was on her deathbed in 2015, she pulled Carl aside and told him to look inside her old sewing machine after she passed. When the time came, Carl did as he was told and went to the sewing machine and looked underneath it as she directed. What he saw was a painting that he was familiar with as a child. It was a painting that hung in his aunt’s house for many years. At first sight, he didn’t think much about it, but he would soon learn that his aunt was leaving far more behind than a simple painting.

“My brother and I called it the lady with the fuzzy hat,” Carl recalled of the piece that is technically known as “Woman with a Cape.”

It turns out that the painting was a rare Picasso. Evidently, Carl’s uncle bought it in London during World War I, for only $30. According to art experts, the rare Picasso looks a lot like one that is currently hanging in the Cleveland Museum.

“The time period it came out of and all of the paperwork that came with it, the provenance on it, the signature on it, the forensics report — I really am convinced it is the real deal,” said appraiser Richard Beaulieu, who specializes in this type of work.

And to add to the rarity of the painting, it is said to have Picasso’s actual thumbprint embedded on it.

According to the Beaulieu, the painting is estimated to be valued between $25 and $35 million.

Not a bad gift to leave behind for someone special. It is a good thing that Carl did the right thing and got the painting appraised. He very well could’ve just chalked it up to being a simple painting that she left behind, but instead, he discovered it’s true value, which could support him and his family for quite some time.

Commenters were generally happy for Carl and his good fortune…

“Her nephew is one lucky guy. Wish I had a relative that would leave me with something like that. :)”

And one commenter had some interesting insight regarding the history of the piece…

“Stolen by the English, from the nazi’s, who stole it from somebody who probably ended up in a concentration camp during ww2. Sold by the English to some American soldier for a few bucks still, makes it stolen art. There are still people who hunt this kind of stolen art to get it back to the families of the original owners.”