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A $10 thrift store picture turned out to be rare Salvador Dalí work worth $1,200

The framed picture, stacked among the secondhand wares at a thrift store in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, was the definition of a good find.
/ Source: TODAY

It's the type of find that makes digging through all those items at the thrift store worth it.

An art lover and volunteer at Hotline Pink Thrift Shop in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, discovered an item priced between $10 and $50 that turned it to be worth a whole lot more, according to NBC affiliate WAVY.

After making her intriguing find, Wendy Hawkins took the artwork to Melanie Smith at nearby Seaside Art Gallery and discovered it was a woodcut print by famed artist Salvador Dalí.

"One day I saw this, with a bunch of other paintings lined up on the floor, and I said ‘This is old, this is something special,'" Hawkins told WAVY.

Smith deeply researched whether it was actual artwork by Dali, who is best known for melting-clock paintings that have adorned many college dorm room walls over the years.

Smith determined that the engraving contains Dali's signature. It came from a series of 100 watercolor paintings created by the Spanish surrealist painter in the 1950s and reproduced as wood engravings that depict Dante Alighieri's "The Divine Comedy."

The engraving was sold for $1,200 to a local couple.

The identity of the person who donated it to the thrift shop remains unknown. Michael Lewis, the director of the charity that runs Hotline Pink Thrift Shop, told WAVY they didn't have any record of who donated the item because many items are dropped off late at night.

"It’s rare to find anything like this,'' Smith told WAVY. "It’s like a treasure hunt, and thanks to Wendy, it’s been rescued, and brought to light so people in the art world can really enjoy it."