When Carl Sabatino’s aunt, Jenny Verrastro, was dying, she told him to ‘check’ under her sewing machine. He did not expect to found a Pablo Picasso work of art that is worth $13 million.
Carl Sabatino remembered the painting from his childhood, on the wall of his aunt’s home in Staten Island. He remembers calling it the “lady in a fuzzy hat”.
The artwork had been bought for £10 ($15) from a London street vendor while his uncle, Nicky Verrastro, was serving in the US military.
When Carl noticed Pablo Picasso’s signature at the bottom part of the painting, he started investigating. He then found out that the artwork is indeed the same Spanish artist behind “Woman With The Cape”, which is now displayed at the Cleveland Museum for almost 50 years now.
He tried to get the artwork’s value when one New York auction house dismissed it as a faux and a cheap poster. He decided to do an extensive research about Picasso’s milestones in which he had a knowledge of how the Spanish artist uses gum bichrate – a 19th century technique which combines photographic processes and pigment coloring.
Dr Kenneth Smith from the Center for Art Materials studied a tiny pigment from his aunt’s painting and got very promising result. Dr Smith found something that’s a first in Picasso’s artworks, a fingerprint.
Richard Beau Lieu, a world-renowned Picasso expert from Florida, evaluated the artwork and is still analyzing the authenticity.
Maybe the artwork is worth more than a $13million but who knows, all Carl can do for right now is wait.