The Key to Garage-Sale Art: Say It with Flowers

Last week eBay canceled the $135,805 sale of a painting touted as a work bought at a garage sale that might be by the late California artist Richard Diebenkorn. EBay claimed the seller, Sacramento lawyer Kenneth A. Walton, placed bids on the painting himself.

Why bother with the Internet? If you want to make money on garage-sale paintings, look for the magnolias. Four paintings by 19th century realist Martin Johnson Heade have been purchased at garage sales and an estate sale for next to nothing in the past few years. Three fetched mammoth prices at Christie's; the fourth is on...

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