'Pawn Stars': Valuable Raphael print turns out to be fake
On "Pawn Stars," a man came into the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop looking to sell a print believed to be by the Renaissance master Raphael. Let's just say it got the shop's art appraiser very excited.
"When Rick called me and told me he was bringing somebody by who had a purported Raphael sketch, I got goosebumps. Because if this sketch is legit, this is going to be probably one of the most important pieces ever brought to me by Rick."
Shop owner Rick Harrison even said that if it was an original etching, it "could be the most valuable thing that's ever walked into the shop."
It turned out the print wasn't a Raphael original. Rick's art appraiser convened with another expert and determined the paper it was on wasn't from the appropriate period -- it was only from about 150 years ago.
If the print really was Raphael's, it would have been valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars range. But it only ended up being worth between $300-$400.
Even though that sounds like a pretty big number, when you look at other recent Raphael artwork sales, it's just a proverbial drop in the paint bucket. Bloomberg reported in December of 2012 that a Raphael drawing titled "Head of a Young Apostle" sold for a European record-setting auction price of $47.8 million.