$10 oil painting is simply priceless

PRICELESS FIND: Ben Cumming found a painting by his late grandfather at the Ipswich flea market held at the Ipswich Showgrounds.
PRICELESS FIND: Ben Cumming found a painting by his late grandfather at the Ipswich flea market held at the Ipswich Showgrounds. Rob Williams

A PAINTING purchased by Ripley's Ben Cumming may not be worth much in cash, but its sentimental value is through the roof.

As Mr Cumming wandered through the Ipswich Showplace Market last week, an oil painting with a price tag of $10 caught his eye.

The artwork was just a simple picture of waves crashing on rocks, but something about it resonated with the 29-year-old.

And for good reason - the artist was none other than Oswald Benjamin Cumming - Ben's grandfather, who died in 1980.

"The style of the painting reminded me of a similar painting by my grandfather that my father owned," he said. "It was even framed the same way."

The woman who was selling the artwork said it had been owned by her mother who had passed away and had no idea who painted it or how her mother came to possess it.

"I suspected it was made by my grandfather, and since it was only $10, I took the chance and bought it" Mr Cumming said. "My father and aunty both inspected it later and confirmed that my grandfather was indeed the artist.

"They were so surprised when I told them where I had found it."

Mr Cumming said he had never met his grandfather, who died of Parkinson's Disease four years before he was born.

Oswald Cumming had been a long-serving school teacher who taught at Silkstone State School until his illness rendered him unable to continue.

He had taken up painting as a hobby in the late stages of his life.

"When looking closely at the brushstrokes and the way his signature is written on the painting you can see my grandfather was struggling with Parkinson's when he made this," he said.



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