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Shopper stunned after recognizing iconic artwork at Goodwill: 'I would have also bought these in a heartbeat'

"I only had luck once."

"I only had luck once."

Photo Credit: iStock

Thrift stores, often praised by consumers for their cheap prices on secondhand commodities and their charitable attributes, are now being looked at as possible treasure troves after what one customer came across in their local Goodwill.

Two artistic pieces by one of Japan's most important and prolific printmakers, Hasui Kawase, were discovered with a price tag of $4.99 each. 

According to the original poster in the r/ThriftStoreHauls subreddit, the prints — first published in the early 1930s and later reprinted — follow the traditional Japanese method of woodblock printing, where the design is carved into wooden blocks and pressed onto paper.

"I only had luck once."
Photo Credit: Reddit
"I only had luck once."
Photo Credit: Reddit

According to Ronin Gallery, his prints are often characterized by their "serenity of mood and flawless composition." 

The works, "Rain in Shinagawa" and "Rain in Maekawa, Sōshū," are classic depictions of 20th-century Japanese landscapes. As noted by Ronin Gallery, most of his work, including all of his woodblocks, was destroyed during an earthquake in 1923, making his prized work scarce — though all the more expensive. 

The first piece is valued around $550, while the night print depiction has fetched $1,500 in the past, with current listings ranging from $2,000 to $5,000, according to the Redditor. Besides a minor repair needed for the frame's backing paper, the buyer noted that they are a valued addition to their collection.

The idea of thrift shopping serves another purpose: reducing waste and preventing more items from ending up in landfills or being incinerated. In turn, this would prevent carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. generated 292.4 million tons of waste in 2018. 

🗣️ Which of these factors would most effectively motivate you to recycle old clothes and electronics?

🔘 Giving me money back 💰

🔘 Letting me trade for new stuff 👕

🔘 Making it as easy as possible ⚡

🔘 Keeping my stuff out of landfills 🗑️

🗳️ Click your choice to see results and speak your mind

When consumers look to buy secondhand products, it decreases the demand for new products, which inevitably decreases the number of resources needed for production. This could be in the form of synthetic materials, water, and the use of nonrenewable energy — not to mention the money people would save.

According to thredUP's 2023 resale report, globally, the U.S. secondhand clothing market alone is projected to grow to $70 billion by 2027. According to First Research, the industry is growing, with secondhand stores generating around $15 billion annually in revenue. 

While all Goodwill-goers might not stumble upon an amazing find like this on the daily, you can always shop around — whether or not you discover a rare item that could be worth thousands, like this Nyra 30 Chandelier, or you snag that bargain deal on clothes like this Atsuko Kudo jacket and other household goods like Le Creuset cookware, the planet will thank you.

Reddit commenters celebrated this find, with one saying, "Gorgeous! This is the kind of stuff I look for when I'm thrifting. I would have also bought these in a heartbeat. Lovely finds!"

"Awesome! I always look for Japanese Wood prints. I only had luck once and it was 3 of them in a really nice matted frame," another person added

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