Before there were happy trees, there were gold pans; Bob Ross paintings in AK
A cool find came into the antique store Alaska Picker last week—two gold pans painted by famous TV artist Bob Ross.
Ross hosted the instructional show “The Joy of Painting” on PBS from 1983 to 1994, but before that, he was in the Air Force and stationed at Eielson Air Force Base in the early 1970s.
According to Kelly Turney, owner of Alaska Picker, the gold pans are rare finds. "The two items that came into the shop this past week are definitely top three of the rarest and best Alaska items we've ever had in the store." Turney says Ross painted the gold pans and sold them for extra spending cash early in his career.
"They came through the front door of the shop one day,” says Turney. “Lady says my father purchased these back in 1971… The airman who originally purchased these, purchased two of them and he paid a reported $25 each."
Today, they’re worth $3500, according to Turney.
The two gold pan paintings sold in one day to two different buyers.
“The first buyer was a really unique and special situation” said Turney. “I got a phone call from a gentleman who is currently deployed and he called me from Iraq. His family lives in Two Rivers which is just outside of Fairbanks. It's my long distance sale of the year. The second gold pan sold later that afternoon to a local gentleman who is a local businessman."