Town Crier: Rare painting found behind mirror fetches $39,000


This newly discovered painting by Elliot Daingerfield titled “TwiligHt” was sold at auction Sunday at Oakland’s Clars Auction Gallery for $39,325 — over four times the estimated price.

Montclarion: April 22, 2016

It’s the stuff of movies — a rare painting found hidden behind the backing of a mirror. It happened recently, at Oakland’s Clars Auction Gallery.

A man who was working with a mirror from a prominent Pebble Beach estate noticed something askew with the backing. When he peeled it away, he discovered the oil painting “Twilight” by renowned Barbizon school painter Elliot Daingerfield. What a pleasant surprise for everyone involved.

“You always hear about things like this but seldom actually discover them,” says Clars President Redge Martin.

The auction house contacted the consignor, whose own mother had owned the mirror for 40 years without ever knowing the secret it held.

“Twilight” was sold at auction Sunday for a whopping $39,325 — more than four times the estimated price. I’m betting the new owners will display it prominently after all these years undercover.

Around town: Can’t afford a ticket to see your Golden State Warriors in the playoffs? Keep shopping in Montclair and you might see a “splash brother.” The latest Klay Thompson sighting was at the yogurt shop on Mountain Boulevard and Medau Place. There’s no word on whether Klay likes sprinkles or fruit on his yogurt, but readers say he will put his spoon down to sign autographs.

Meanwhile, the owners of Duvin (the wine bar on Thornhill) have been holding Warriors watch parties where they project the games on the wall and serve pizza with select beers and wines. What wine pairs well with pepperoni? A peppery zin?

Garden buzz: Where have all the pollinators gone? A lot of them are hanging around the California Native Bee Garden in Berkeley. The garden, overseen by UC Berkeley entomologist Dr. Gordon Frankie, will be just one of the attractions May 1 on the “Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour.” There’s also a great garden in Dimond Park that includes plants native to the Sausal Creek watershed. You can see pictures of every garden on the tour by going to

And speaking of nature, you can watch the documentary “Trailhead” online at no charge by going to The movie, by Oakland filmmakers Emily Fraser and Henry Wiener, is a beautifully produced promo piece for Oakland’s wildland parks.

Animal tale: Who needs an attack dog when you’ve got a cat on the case? That so-called “ninja burglar” who was arrested this month in Oakland apparently awakened one woman after her cat alerted her to the suspect lurking in her courtyard. She called the police, and the guy got away but was later captured. I like to think the cat helped catch the cat burglar. And since Montclair has a cat for a mayor, there should be some kind of public commendation for the crime-fighting kitty.



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