Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

A David Bowie Painting That Sold For $4 At A Thrift Store Is Now Up For Auction

Painting by David Bowie on auction.
Cowley Abbott
Painting by David Bowie on auction.

A painting by the legendary rock star David Bowie is up for auction, and it could sell for tens of thousands more than the purchase price.

An unnamed seller picked it up at a donation center in Canada for $4.09. It wasn't until later that they noticed the signature of Ziggy Stardust himself on the back, signed in 1997.

As of Thursday morning, the highest bid for DHead XLVI was nearly $40,000 with another week to go on the market, being run by Canadian auction house Cowley Abbott.

The painting, a vibrant blue and red acrylic artwork, is part of a series of 47 pieces of art that Bowie created between 1995 and 1997. He titled the series Dead Heads (DHeads), and each piece included a nonsequential Roman numeral, according to Cowley Abbott.

This isn't the first time Bowie's work has been found in odd places. The earliest known recording of his singing, from 1963, was found in 2018 in a breadbasket of a former bandmate from one of his earliest projects, a band called the Konrads.

Bowie, who influenced generations of musicians and fans, died in 2016.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit

Arielle Retting
Arielle Retting is a growth editor for digital content at NPR. In her current role, she helps the newsroom develop digital skills so NPR can expand our storytelling to meet our audiences where they are.
Leila Fadel is a national correspondent for NPR based in Los Angeles, covering issues of culture, diversity, and race.