Woman buys $35 bust at Goodwill — turns out, it's a 2,000-year-old Roman artifact

Apr 27 2023, 6:25 pm

One person’s trash is another’s treasure, and every ardent thrift store shopper deeply understands this — but the phrase got too real for one Goodwill customer.

Austin, Texas, resident Laura Young was browsing a Goodwill location in Northwest Hills in 2018 when she came across an antiquated marble bust priced at US$34.99.

“He looked Roman. He looked old,” Young told San Antonio Express-News. “In the sunlight, it looked like something that could be very, very special.”

Young is an antique collector. One glance at her Instagram page — filled with photos of stunning old jewellery, vases, paintings, and all things vintage — could tell you she takes her work seriously and is passionate about it.

This collector’s intuition had just guided Young to the purchase of a lifetime.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Laura Young (@templeofvintage)

Young had the 52-pound piece assessed by multiple evaluators, and finally, a Sotheby’s consultant told her it was actually a Roman bust around 2,000 years old.

“It looked great in the house,” Young told NPR’s Austin Station KUT. So she put it on display near the entryway of her house and even gave him a nickname — Dennis Reynolds, the notoriously narcissistic It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia character.

“He was attractive; he was cold; he was aloof. I couldn’t really have him. He was difficult. So, yeah, my nickname for him was Dennis,” she said.

We know that King Ludwig I of Bavaria once owned the historical bust. How it got to Texas is mostly a mystery, but many believe it may have been brought into the US by a soldier in the 1950s.

In an Instagram post on May 4, 2022, Young shared details about her purchase and what it was like to keep its true worth a secret.

“My nearly four-year relationship with a 2,000-year-old Roman portrait head owned by King Ludwig I of Bavaria and looted from the Nazis by the Allies/Americans in WWII has finally come to an end, and I can FINALLY blab about him!” she wrote. “If you know me personally, you know I have a big mouth, so this has been hard?”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Laura Young (@templeofvintage)

In an interview with the New York Times, Young said that she’s returning the bust to its hometown of Bavaria, where it would be displayed with her name in its informational signage.

The artifact is currently on loan with the San Antonio Museum of Art. According to a report from CNN, the piece will stay at the museum until May 21, 2023, and then be shipped to Germany, where it belongs.

Want to stay in the loop with more Daily Hive content and News in your area? Check out all of our Newsletters here.
Buzz Connected Media Inc. #400 – 1008 Homer Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6B 2X1 [email protected] View Rules
National Trending StaffNational Trending Staff

+ News
+ Shopping
+ History
+ World News