PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Two stained glass windows from a West Philadelphia church turned out to be way more valuable than the pastor who sold them thought.
Paul Brown of Lancaster does architectural salvage. Last fall, he bought two colorful purple and aqua stained glass windows for $6,000 as part of a lot being sold by the Emmanuel Christian Center, which was refurbishing its church at 50th Street and Baltimore Avenue.
Brown then took the stained glasses to Freeman's auction house in Philadelphia to be appraised. That’s where he learned the windows were designed by Tiffany Studios in the early 1900s.
Brown was pleasantly surprised with the discovery.
"It'll be once in a lifetime,” Brown said. “That's a once-in-a-lifetime situation."
Freeman's auctioned the windows Thursday for a reported $100,000 each. Brown said he shared some of the windfall – but did not disclose how much – with the pastor at the church because it was the right thing to do.
"Usually when you buy something you don't have to give something back, but in his situation, we felt it was important to sort of keep everybody happy."
Brown removed the windows from Freeman's Friday to deliver them to the anonymous buyer.
He says this find will be hard to top.
"I hope, knock on wood, to find something so neat one day. I don't need to find anything better than this."