Norman Rockwell’s “Breaking Home Ties” sold at a Sotheby’s auction yesterday for $15.4 million. The work was rediscovered last March behind a false panel in a home in Sandgate Vermont. Art historians have long noticed discrepancies between the image which appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post, and what was believed to have been the original, on temporary exhibition at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. It appears that cartoonist Don Trachte Jr. bought the work for $900 in 1960.
It seems that the cartoonist may have forged the work, and hidden the original in his Vermont home to prevent his ex-wife from gaining the work in a messy divorce in 1973. His sons discovered the work last Spring after their father’s death.