Oops! 'Antiques Roadshow' mistakenly appraises high school art project for $50,000

In January, a so-called "Grotesque Face Jug" was featured on an episode of the PBS series "Antiques Roadshow." Appraiser Stephen Fletcher described the "over-the-top" piece as "bizarre and wonderful," estimating that it dated back to the late 19th or early 20th century.

"You even see a little bit of, like, Pablo Picasso going on here," Fletcher told the jug's owner, Alvin Barr, who reportedly bought the piece for $300 at an estate sale in Eugene, Oregon.

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"Somebody might well ask in the area of between $30,000 and $50,000 for this," Fletcher added.

Yeah ... not so much.

According to the Bend Bulletin, the piece was actually made as a high school art project in 1973 or 1974 by Betsy Soule, now a horse trainer in Bend, Oregon.

"The whole story has had me laughing out loud for over a month now," said Soule, now 60, who learned of the mix-up when a friend recognized the jug on the show. "It's just the most fun thing ever."

Fletcher has since revised the appraisal, The Washington Post reports.

"I feel the value at auction, based on its quality and artistic merit, is in the $3,000-$5,000 range," Fletcher said. "Still not bad for a high schooler in Oregon."

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