Don Trachte died in 2005, but his deception was only revealed in 2006 when his sons, Dave and Don Jr, discovered the original painting (Breaking Home Ties) hidden in a secret compartment behind the walls of their father’s house. It had lain there undisturbed, along with seven other valuable works by contemporary artists, for the best part of 35 years – the exact date is uncertain, since even now nobody knows when Trachte made the switch. – Tiny Fox Lab Facts
Breaking Home Ties, which hangs at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, is one of the American artist’s best-known and most popular works, worth an estimated $5m on the art market.
Preview photo credit: AP/Norman Rockwell Museum