News
gla_wpadmin  

I traded cheese toastie for painting from restaurant punter, it’s now worth £22k

A WOMAN who traded a cheese toastie for a painting with a punter at her restaurant has discovered it is worth a whopping £22,000.

Irene Demas and her husband Tony swapped the sandwich for the pricey artwork at their eatery in Ontario, Canada, back in the 70s.

Irene Demas and her husband Tony swapped dishes for items at their restaurant

4

Irene Demas and her husband Tony swapped dishes for items at their restaurantCredit: Instagram
The couple unknowingly bagged a painting by Canadian folk artist, Maud Lewis

4

The couple unknowingly bagged a painting by Canadian folk artist, Maud LewisCredit: Miller and Miller Auctions

They recently discovered their years of bartering had paid off in more ways than one – after finding out they had bagged the work of acclaimed Canadian folk artist, Maud Lewis.

Instead of a standard payment option, the couple traded dishes in exchange for wacky items with customers.

Artists, bakers, craftspeople, florists and artisans flocked to the funky cafe in a bid to score a good meal that they could pay for in possessions.

Owners Irene and Tony became particularly familiar with a Brit couple, John Kinnear and his wife Audrey, who enjoyed swapping for their snacks.

School BOMBED & up to 60 feared dead as Putin 'escalates attacks'
Dramatic moment Russian helicopter is blown up in Ukrainian drone strike

The grilled-cheese obsessed customer regularly brought in paintings with his pals to barter – including the incognito masterpiece.

The cheese toastie trading ritual continued despite Irene’s attempts to convince John to try other dishes on the menu, as he “just loved” the simple sandwich.

The Brit then brought in six paintings for the restaurant owner to choose from during one of their standard lunchtime switches.

Irene told The Guardian: “I just sat there in silence for quite a while. I’d never ever seen any art like that before.

“At first I thought they might be playing or some sort of trick on me. Did a kid do some of these?”

But John explained to the couple that he had met an artist in the province of Nova Scotia, who was “so poor she didn’t have the right things to paint on.”

The struggling painter – who was later discovered to be poverty-stricken Maud – had to resort to using scraps of wood as a canvas and leftover paint fishermen used on their boats.

He had then sent Maud some boards prepped for painting, which she later returned to him daubed with her signature artistry.

Pregnant Irene decided to select a simple painting of a black truck to hang in her unborn son’s bedroom from the stack.

But she had unknowingly been gifted a work by popular painter Maud, who is renowned for her sweet depictions of life in rural Nova Scotia.

The artist developed rheumatoid arthritis before her death in 1970 at the age of 67 – before her name in the art world boomed.

Irene said: “It’s just too bad she didn’t live long enough to really reap the benefits of her art.”

It’s just too bad she didn’t live long enough to really reap the benefits of her art.

Irene Demas

She and her husband Tony decided to flog the incredible piece with the encouragement of their children to fund their travel plans.

The pair are also selling off three pieces of correspondence between John and Maud, in which she praises him for his generosity.

Irene added: “My husband is 90 and I don’t think I have another 50 years to hang on to it.

“The kids are saying, use the money and travel and just enjoy life.”

The painting and two letters are set to be auctioned off on May 14, where they are set to scoop up to £22,000.

Ethan Miller who is chief executive officer and auctioneer at Miller & Miller Auctions in New Hamburg, told CBC that the truck painting is a rare example of Maud’s work.

Ethan said: “Maud Lewis is the quintessential Canadian folk artist who has overcome personal physical limitations and all kinds of challenges in her life.

“She followed her passion and worked hard at it.'”

Minder and New Tricks star Dennis Waterman dies aged 74 at Spanish home
Dramatic moment Russian helicopter is blown up in Ukrainian drone strike

The spotlight fell back on Maud in 2016 after Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke produced a biopic on the poverty-stricken artist titled Maudie. 

“The market has gone wild. It’s very unusual to see a category double and triple in value, and Maud Lewis paintings within the last five or even three years have doubled easily,” Ethan said.

Irene intends to use the cash to travel with Tony

4

Irene intends to use the cash to travel with TonyCredit: Instagram
Poverty-stricken Maud Lewis was known for her incredible depictions of Nova Scotia

4

Poverty-stricken Maud Lewis was known for her incredible depictions of Nova ScotiaCredit: Wikimedia Commons



Reference-www.thesun.co.uk

Leave A Comment