MANCHESTER, N.H. (WHDH) - A New Hampshire woman recently found a needle in a haystack in the form of a rare painting at a thrift store. 

The woman bought the painting for just $4. Now, the painting is expected to sell at auction for close to $250,000. 

“It’s in very good condition,” said painting conservator Lauren Lewis. “There are a few scratches, little dings, darkened varnish, but nothing unexpected to a pairing of that age that has, in my opinion, never been touched” 

The initial buyer of the painting found the item at a Savers store in Manchester while in search of used frames. 

Lewis later came across the painting after the buyer posted photos in a Facebook group. 

“They posted pictures of the front as well as the back, which was very helpful for me,” Lewis told 7NEWS. “There were some labels on the back, so I was interested.”

What the buyer didn’t know was the fact that the painting had been missing for 80 years, first created by Needham artist N.C. Wyeth in 1939 as an illustration for a book. 

While the seller would like to remain anonymous, Lewis said she did not sell short how much this painting could benefit her family as it now goes up for auction.

“These are not wealthy people and I’m thrilled that, as she said, this could be life-changing for her,” Lewis said. “It’s really great for them and it’s really great for the art world to find this painting again.” 

Lewis said it is incredibly rare to find an original painting in a thrift store.

(Copyright (c) 2023 Sunbeam Television. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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