40 years later: Woman finds portrait of herself for sale

A Fort Wayne woman was shocked to find a portrait of herself being sold at an estate sale
Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 3:18 PM EST
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - A Fort Wayne woman uncovered a mystery 40 years in the making.

She found something at an estate sale that once belonged to her.

But she doesn’t know the man whose house in which it’s been hanging.

The year was 1981. Ronald Reagan won the presidential election. Win Moses was Fort Wayne’s mayor.

And Cheryl Bell was getting a portrait done, but she’s just a little foggy about the details.

“I don’t remember getting it done. I don’t think I sat for it. I think it was probably done from a photo. But honestly, I remember getting it, and I remember thinking, ‘I don’t know if that really looks like me,’” Bell admitted.

She thinks she probably gave the portrait to someone, maybe a boyfriend. And then she kind of forgot about it, until last week, when the estate sale-frequenter got on Facebook.

“Well I was scrolling through (Facebook), couldn’t get back to sleep... And all of a sudden, I just stopped cold. And it was like my heart stopped,” said Bell.

Among the hundreds, if not thousands of items posted on this estate sale page was Cheryl’s portrait.

“She comes to some of our sales, and I’ve seen her around a bit,” said Amy Stoody, of Estate Sale Services by Amy Stoody. “I was a little taken aback when she called, because I thought, ‘This is crazy town.’”

But in talking to Amy, Cheryl’s mystery only continues.

Cheryl doesn’t know the man who owned the house and hung her portrait on his wall. And it makes Cheryl and her family wonder: “Can you imagine what that portrait has seen in 40 years?!”

So while Cheryl will try to find more pieces to this 40-year-old puzzle, she’s grateful to have it back.

Cheryl was able to decipher the artist’s last name, as “Buescher.”

The first initial is hard to make out, but it might be a “B.”

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