A landscape listed as the work of 19th c. American artist William Mason Brown was bought at a school fundraising auction by a New Jersey man in 2001. The catalog gave the 25-by-30-inch framed painting an estimate $18,000 to $25,000. He paid $16,000.
Fast forward to 2009, the man takes the painting to Christie's for auction and discovers the work may not be by W.M. Brown. New York's Alexander Gallery would not authenticate it either.
The disappointed bidder built up lawyers' fees after his requests for a refund were turned down. He is now considering filing theft/fraud charges against the school and donor.