Lost or Missing Works of Art and Their Rewards Part 1

About some lost or missing works of art, their value and reward offered if found.


E. Wild Brunner is the founder and head of International Treasure Search, Inc., a service that locates missing art objects and returns them to their owners or to the agents responsible for them. A longtime art lover and collector who advised fellow officers during W. W. II of the value of various Persian art treasures, Mr. Brunner-an attorney for 28 years-approached various museums and galleries with his idea for a search-and-recovery service. Most responded enthusiastically to his proposal, for up to that time there had been no safe, discreet way for them to tell the general public about missing art treasures. Thus, Mr. Brunner's company serves as a sort of clearinghouse for valuable art objects that have been lost or stolen, including those that were looted during W. W. II. Individuals notify him of the whereabouts of missing objects, and he in turn notifies the appropriate museum or gallery, sometimes working through an embassy. The individuals who produce these items are paid a reward, often well above the amount paid for the items originally.

If you think you may have a missing art object in your possession, write to Mr. Brunner at International Treasure Search, Inc., P. O. Box 864, Clearwater, Fla. 33517.

1. Object: Oil painting

Title: Landscape with Three Peasants

Value: $10,000

Reward: $1,000

This masterpiece was painted on copper by the Flemish artist Jan Brueghel, the Elder, about the year 1600. It is a circular painting only 4 3/4 in. in diameter. When it was stolen from a museum in the U.S. in 1968, it was set in a square tortoise-shell frame with a velvet liner.

2. Object: Breccia wheel-lock pistol

Value: $6,000

Reward: $900

The total length of this .11-caliber 17th-century weapon is 34 in. Among its recognizable features are the initials AF and an octagonal egg-shaped grip decorated with intricate ironwork depicting, among other things, an eagle with a shield. A razor blade concealed in the groove of the cleaning rod may be pulled out to transform the pistol into a bayonet when the rod is attached.

3. Object: Sculpture

Title: Le Confident

Value: $7,800

Reward: 15% ($1,170)

Honore Daumier rendered this fine sculpture in bronze. Le Confident is 7 1/4 in. high, and the artist's initials appear on the base. This and three other Daumier bronzes of similar size and value were stolen from an important art gallery in London. An identical reward is offered for each of the four stolen bronze figurines.

4. Object: Chalice

Value: Priceless

Reward: A 12-day trip through Hungary or its equivalent in Hungarian products

Made in Hungary in the 15th century, this silver and gilt chalice is 9 in. high and is decorated with cloisonne filigree in floral patterns. It is but one of the many priceless works of art looted from Hungarian museums and collections during W. W. II.

5. Object: Oil painting

Title: Jesus' First Fall

Value: Approximately $100,000

Reward: $15,000

This masterpiece was painted on canvas by the contemporary American artist Ben Stahl. It is 5 ft. wide and 9 ft. high, one of a series of 10 paintings of identical size depicting scenes from the life of Jesus. The entire collection, valued at $1 million, was stolen from a museum in the U.S. It is believed that these paintings were smuggled out of the country to some location in the Middle East.

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