Paint by number - who doesn't remember these kits from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s? We all had an aunt, grandmother, or in-law who was addicted to making them. Remember the blank cardboard canvas, like a coloring book, with numbers in the spaces indicating the color to be used? These paintings took hours to complete, sometimes months. Now the completed paintings are worth big money on eBay.
Recently, a set of vintage paint by number (also known as PBN on eBay) paintings of a misty Paris street scene sold on eBay for a whopping $317. The seller, Berkeleygirl listed the set of paintings on auction at a starting price of $9.99. The auction received 14 bids and ended on March 24 at $317 plus shipping fees.
The seller's description read,
"Matched Vintage Pair of vintage Paint By Numbers PBN- Paris on a misty moody gray day in the 1930's chez Le TONON steak restaurant (A restaurant specializing in steak tartare- still in Paris!) Fabulous pair. Signed in their original oak frames. GREAT COLORS! Rare to find a matching pair. About the coolest Paint By Numbers we've seen! Great Oak Frames. Nice condition. Clean. There is a bit of paint loss- very small amount. looks like one of the nails slipped and there's a tiny nick on the edge. Measuring 16" X 20" ( framed 20" X 26") They could use new nails to keep them in place in the frames. They are a bit loose in the frames. Super clean from a Non Smoking environment. Examples of these we're found in the Museum of Paint By Numbers. The paint kit was manufactured by Craft Master in in 1958 -- Palmer- Pann Corporation Toledo Ohio and Windsor Ontario Canada. #14H and 14H2. TOUCH of FRANCE and Misty Paris. Signed by Anna Kohn."
Paint by Number is a hot vintage and home decor item right now. In fact, there is a Paint by Number Museum online where visitors can tour online galleries, search collections of paintings and kits, explore the library archives, and ask questions at the help desk. Learning to recognize a paint by number painting is a valuable skill for eBay pickers, since paint by number paintings can frequently be found at estate sales, yard sales, and thrift stores.