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Washington family heirloom that was almost donated to Goodwill sells for six-figure sum at art auction

Washington family heirloom that was almost donated to Goodwill sells for six-figure sum at art auction

A Washington state family that nearly gave away an expensive piece of art to Goodwill decades ago scored a six-figure payout when the heirloom sold at auction last month.

Renowned artist Julian Onderdonk’s majestic painting of blue lupines in Texas sold for $112,500 on Saturday after being in the Brinkley family for more than a century, according to reports.

The artwork was among a collection of possessions destined for Goodwill after Carlotta Preston’s family helped the woman clean out her home before moving from California to Washington sometime before 2005, her grandson Jared Brinkley told Texas Monthly.

“A Field of Blue Lupines, San Antonio, 1921”, by Onderdonk. Heritage auctions

But Preston asked for it at the last minute because he said it was “too nice to give away,” according to Heritage Auctions.

Preston’s parents received it as a gift years earlier from a distant relative who sent it to him to celebrate the year of his birth, 1922.

After Preston died, his daughter, who lives in Washington, picked it up and put it on a wall in her dining room.

No one realized how valuable the 1921 painting, called “A Field of Lupines, San Antonio,” was until Preston’s daughter did some digging.

“It was a family heirloom for all these years,” Jared Brinkley told the auction house.

San Antonio native and landscape artist Julian Onderdonk works in the field in this undated photograph. Texas State Historical Association

“But it was a decorative object. We hadn’t considered researching it. And now, it should end up in the hands of someone who really appreciates it.”

Onderdonk is considered the father of Texas painting and was born in San Antonio in 1882.

He came to New York to study art and then returned to Texas, where he was drawn to painting lupines, according to the Texas Historical Society.

“Blue Hoods on a Gray Day, North of San Antonio, Texas, 1916,” by Onderdonk. Heritage auctions

These paintings became his most popular and valuable pieces.

The canvas brought by Brinkley was initially listed for $30,000, according to Texas Monthly.