Mechanical Bank Uncovered at Louisiana Flea Market Possibly a Lost Da Vinci Invention

A remarkable discovery at this year’s Antique Trade Days Arts and Craft Fair in Ponchatoula, Louisiana has art enthusiasts and collectors buzzing with excitement. Beatrice Collins, an avid collector from Baton Rouge, stumbled upon what appears to be a mechanical bank depicting Jesus in the likeness of Leonardo Da Vinci’s iconic Salvator Mundi painting.

The Salvator Mundi, a long-lost masterpiece by Da Vinci, made headlines in 2017 when it sold for a staggering $450 million, becoming the world’s most expensive work of art ever. Collins’ find, a mechanical bank featuring a figure of Jesus with a movable arm that makes a blessing motion when a lever is pressed, has sparked speculation that it could be an early invention by the Renaissance genius himself.

Collins shared her remarkable story, recounting how her sister Alice, an art history enthusiast, recognized the potential significance of the damaged bank after she brought it home from the flea market. ‘When Alice saw the mechanical bank of Jesus, her face lit-up. She told me the story of the Salvator Mundi painting,’ Collins said.

The mechanical bank, which dates back to the late 19th or early 20th century, bears a striking resemblance to Da Vinci’s famous painting, raising questions about its origins and potential connection to the Renaissance master’s work. While the bank’s history remains shrouded in mystery, its discovery has ignited a flurry of research and speculation among art experts and collectors.

Collins and her sister are planning a trip to New York City, where they hope to meet with experts who can shed light on the bank’s history and potential value. Although Collins remains tight-lipped about the price she paid for the item, she acknowledges it was a fraction of the $1,100 paid for the Salvator Mundi painting in 2005 before its true value was recognized.

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