When Paul Brown found out that the two windows he salvaged from the historic St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in West Philadelphia for $6,000 were Tiffany Studio, he thought he was looking at a major payout, writes Art Petrosemolo for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The find was a win either way, as the church, which had been purchased by the Emmanuel Christian Center, was about to destroy both artifacts while renovating the building. Brown paid an additional $15,000 to remove the windows from the stone structure to have them appraised.
Once he learned that they were worth anywhere from between $150,000 and $200,000 each, he spent another $50,000 to clean and repair the windows.
By that time, the story of the two windows had started to circulate in the media, and the Emmanuel Christian Center contacted Brown asking for additional payment for the windows. They agreed on an undisclosed percentage of the sale, but the whole process may have scared off potential bidders.
The windows ended up receiving a single bid for the original auction price of $100,000 each.
Read more about the Tiffany windows in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.