According to a recent New York Times Story, Laura Young of Austin Texas was browsing a local Goodwill store when something caught her eye. It was on the floor with a yellow price tag on its face. Yet, she had a hunch that it could be more valuable than the $34.99 the tag priced it. Turns out she was right. After contacting a couple of action houses, they confirmed her hunch that the bust had indeed originated in Ancient Rome. How it got to Texas is a bit of a mystery, but the most likely story is that an American soldier took it from a Bavarian King’s villa in Germany after it was bombed by Allied forces. According to the article, the bust which is either of a son of Pompey the Great, or Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus, was acquired by Ludwig I, a Bavarian king, before 1883.
Goes to show that besides the daily treasures you can take home from shopping in secondhand stores, sometimes you can come upon priceless items. Unfortunately for Ms. Young, she had to return the bust back to its home in Germany, but not before being able to show it off in the San Antonio Museum of Art. As she says “ there’s always something else to find. If you’re an antiques dealer, there’s always something else.”