Valuable painting stolen during family estate sale | Local News

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BENNINGTON — Art theft isn’t a commonly reported crime in the Bennington area, but it happened near the end of a two-day estate sale at the home of Tyler and Ann Resch.

The well known residents of North Bennington are in the process of selling their home and have moved into the independent and assisted village of Brookdale Fillmore Pond. They selected Tracy Stevens and Jake Geannelis, from Crow Hill Estate Sale hold the busy Friday and Saturday sale at the couple’s Cold Spring Road home.

“We had a great estate sale, led by two great guys, Tracy Stevens and Jake Geannelis, who went out of their way to organize and promote it, including dozens of photos on Facebook,” Tyler Resch said Tuesday. . “Probably 450 people came and bought about 80% of what was on offer.”

He added: ‘It was a really friendly sale and one that went off successfully, except one of the last moments on Saturday the most valuable item was stolen.’

Resch, who was not present at the time of the theft, said the stolen item was “a painting by prominent New Hampshire landscape artist William Preston Phelps, circa 1900, for which we were asking $7,500, a figure we my evaluator, Barbara Susan, advised; in fact, she placed it between $7,500 and $8,500.


Stevens and Geannelis reported the theft to their insurance company, Resch said, and to Vermont State Police. Sussman, of Fog Hill & Co. Inc., publicized the theft through an international network focused on stolen artwork.

Resch is a historian and author and a former librarian at the Bennington Museum Library, as well as a former Bennington Banner editor in the 1960s and 1970s.

Stevens said Wednesday the theft was discovered during a meeting with Resch at home on Sunday morning. The house was locked overnight, he said, and it is believed someone fled with the painting on Saturday afternoon while helping a customer load furniture into a vehicle or to speak with the people buying the Resch property.

“My heart just sank,” Stevens said.

He said his company’s insurer has confirmed the painting will be covered, but the amount paid will not be known until the company completes its own assessment and there is an insurance deductible. with the police.

“At the end of the day, I just wish we could bring that family legacy back to [Resch]said Geannelis.


Geannelis added that the thief would have a hard time selling the painting, as news spread across the region on social media and internationally on websites warning of stolen art.

The best solution for the person or persons, he said, would be to deposit the painting anonymously where it can be retrieved safely.

The business owners said they had a small two-person business and only made it full-time this year after operating part-time for several years.

“We come in and really try to help people; That’s what started this whole thing,” Stevens said.

“Our sales have become like community events,” attracting many of the same people over and over again, he said, adding that they enjoy helping families shut down an estate or, like Tyler and Ann Resch, downsize. their workforce in a more manageable residence.


Stevens and Geannelis said it’s likely their small business will suffer financial loss from the theft. They will also acquire a camera and alarm security system for future estate sales, including alarms that sound when someone tries to move expensive artwork or other items.

Valuable painting stolen during family estate sale | Local News

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