200612011142The incredible case of the Rockwell that wasn’t has come to a close. You’ll recall that the nutty tale began when HENRY cartoonist Don Trachte was afraid his wife would get his beloved Normal Rockwell painting in a divorce settlement, painted a replica, stored the original in a hidden vault in his house, and took the secret to his grave. Yeah, that’s something that happens in every household. Years later Trachte’s son discovered the original painting — after the fake had been reproduced countless times. Now the Rockwell original hasset a record at auction:

Found hidden behind a wall this year, the Norman Rockwell painting “Breaking Home Ties” broke a record for the artist when it sold for $15.4 million at auction this week.

The painting sold on Wednesday for more than double its estimated price of $4 million to $6 million, according to a Sotheby’s auction house release.

The buyer chose to remain anonymous.


  1. I’m curious if the new owner will let it remain hanging in the Norman Rockwell Museum, across from Trachte’s forgery. I got to see it over my honeymoon and I have to say it’s fascinating to see them so close to each other.