Norman Rockwell’s Lazybones (1919) is to auction in Dallas in November.
The piece is one of Rockwell’s earliest designs for the Saturday Evening Post.
Lazybones is a classic example of Rockwell's work for the Post
He enjoyed a 50 year working relationship with the magazine after its editor, George Lotimer, discovered his work in 1916.
The present lot shows a husky boy taking a nap during his chores – a classic Rockwell theme.
The canvas was acquired by a New Jersey buyer, who hung it in his rec room. During the 1950s a friend, a man named Robert Grant, came round for a game of pool and accidentally put his cue through the canvas.
After apologising profusely, he paid his pal around $100 for the painting.
Fate would strike again in 1976, when the lot was stolen from Grant’s house.
It remained lost until last year, when the FBI put out an appeal. It turned up in the home of an antiques dealer, who had been convinced it was a reproduction.
Over the last few months, it has been brought back to life by the Julius Lowy Frame and Restoring Company.
The work is now destined to appear in Heritage Auctions’ November 3 American Art signature auction, where it looks set to achieve $1m-1.5m.
That’s a huge increase on Grant’s $100 outlay.
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