When a keen-eyed employee at Goodwill came across a striking painting of a woman sipping a cup of tea, she knew well enough to set it aside.
“I didn’t know how much at that time, but I said, ‘We have some money here,’” Maria Rivera, a worker at Goodwill in Manassas, Va., told NBC Washington.
Turns out, the work of art is a rare piece by Italian 19th century painter Giovanni Battista Torriglia and is worth about $12,000.
The valuable painting will go to the highest bidder on Goodwill’s website and proceeds will be used for the organization's job training programs, according to NBC.
While such a find is an exciting boon for the nonprofit that empowers people in need, this wasn’t the first time Goodwill has stumbled upon a valuable piece of art in a donation bin.
Back in November, an anonymous donor dropped off a signed painting by Surrealist master Salvador Dali, the Tacoma News Tribune reports.
Considering that Goodwill employees are trained to spot high-valued items, the worker who found the piece of art knew not to let it slip by.
"Anything with a signature or paperwork attached to the back gets a second look," Dylan Lippert, an e-sales manager at the Tacoma Goodwill, told The Huffington Post in an email. "After a bit of research, it was apparent that [the Dali etching] was indeed something very special."
Also on HuffPost:
Calder 'Red Nose' Lithograph Bought At Goodwill Worth $9,000
"Red Nose" just meant a reindeer named Rudolph to Karen Mallet until she bought a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/02/calder-red-nose-lithograph-goodwill_n_2228774.html?utm_hp_ref=arts&ir=Arts">print by that name for $12.34</a> at a Goodwill store in Milwaukee. It turned out to be a lithograph by American artist Alexander Calder worth $9,000. IMAGE: In this Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012 photo, Karen Mallet stands in front of her Alexander Calder print in her Shorewood, Wis., home. Mallet bought the print for $12.34 at a Goodwill thrift store in Milwaukee. It turned out to be a lithograph by the American artist Alexander Calder worth $9,000. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Salvador Dali Etching Found At Goodwill Sells For $21,005 At Online Auction
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/20/salvador-dali-etching-fou_n_2164427.html">A Salvador Dali etching</a> discovered at a Tacoma Goodwill in 2012 sold for $21,005 on the organization's online auction site. The rare thrift store find, which kicked off the auction at a bargain price of $999, attracted 154 bidders over its two-week long sale.
Renoir Found At Flea Market
Ilya Bolotowsky Painting Found At Goodwill
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/24/beth-feeback-finds-famous_n_1910678.html">Last summer</a>, North Carolina artist Beth Feeback discovered the Goodwill find of a lifetime, nabbing an authentic abstract painting by Ilya Bolotowsky for only $9.99 at her local thrift shop stop. A few months and a Sotheby's consultation later, ABC News reports that Feeback has sold her find for an impressive $27,000 at auction.
Da Vinci Found in Farmhouse
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/07/lost-da-vinci-painting-wo_n_1751869.html">A lost painting by Leonardo da Vinci</a> may have been found in a Scottish farmhouse, reported The Daily Mail. The work, thought to be a 500-year-old portait of Madonna and child, is potentially worth over $150 million (£100 million) if experts are able to prove its authenticity.
Religious Relic Found in Closet
Lost Dada Art Found In Israel
Da Vinci Fresco Found
Ancient Cave Art Found
Stamp Found At German Flea Market Worth Millions?
Reinhold Hoffmann, a retiree who told the German newspaper Bild that he <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/26/reinhold-hoffmann-german-_n_2023161.html">found a U.S. stamp worth $3 million</a>, may now have a reason to go postal: The Philatelic Foundation said the stamp is worth less than $100.