Aunt’s Last Words Send Man On a Mission to Find Answers About Family Mystery

The final statements made by a loved one before passing away are highly valued by people because they have the potential to stay with us forever and profoundly alter the path of our life.

Carl Sabatino, who set out on an amazing journey after the death of his aunt, experienced just that. He found a long-hidden family treasure thanks to one brief but significant statement she made on her deathbed, but it took him more than ten years to determine its exact value.

Discover the secret that will transform his life forever by reading on.

Beautiful Memories

His close-knit family used to reside in Greenwich Village, where Carl Sabatino spent his formative years surrounded by love and laughter. Everyone was cordially invited to his aunt Jenny Verastro’s house, which frequently functioned as the hub of the family’s activities.
Sabatino, regrettably, has trouble recalling this time in his life because he was a very sickly boy at the time. But many years later, as his aunt’s life was unfortunately drawing to an end, memories began to flood back to him.

Final Words

The matriarch of Sabatino’s family and the one who kept everyone together was Aunt Jenny. It was difficult for him to imagine life without her presence, but no matter how difficult it is, there comes a time when we must say goodbye to our loved ones.

Sabatino had had a close relationship with his aunt, and he wanted to be by her side as she passed away. He was unaware that her final words would lead him on a remarkable adventure and preserve her memory for years to come. Sabatino made a promise to himself to spend as much time with his aunt as he could once it became clear that her death was drawing close and her health began to deteriorate. One evening as he sat beside her bed, she said something really odd: “Don’t forget to peek under the sewing machine.”

Sabatino didn’t think much of it and didn’t think about it again until his devoted aunt passed away a few weeks later. He searched the family’s new Staten Island home’s basement for the old machine out of respect for her requests.


Jenny Verastro was a proud owner of a Singer, much like many other people from her generation.  Domestic sewing machine maker Singer was founded in the United States in 1851 by Isaac Merritt Singer and New York attorney Edward Clark. The company was renamed Singer Manufacturing Company in 1865 and is well known for its sewing machines.The initial sewing machine for common domestic usage was created by Singer Corporation. Sabatino understood what had to be done when Jenny instructed him to “check under the sewing machine.”

Memories returning

When Sabatino eventually made the decision to check the antique “Singer” machine, he discovered a curious item that was wrapped in the Sunday issue of the New York Journal-American from 1947. Sabatino was eager to open the package and see what was inside after nearly seven decades of hiding it. After that, he discovered a piece of art that featured a lovely woman wearing a fuzzy hat.

Major Secret

Sabatino didn’t know anything about the picture, but he could tell from the peculiar circumstances surrounding its discovery that it wasn’t simply any useless scrap of paper. Sabatino was able to recall viewing the picture when he was a youngster, proving that his aunt’s desire to remove it and conceal it from view had a valid cause. She also made the decision to tell him this secret just before she passed away, using her final words to guide him in the proper manner.He spent some time trying to recall the details before it eventually dawned on him that he could use the picture to trace the family’s history.

Family Background

Sabatino said the painting was a focal point of his life when Inside Edition shared his amazing story with the public back in 2015. He would often make fun of it with his brother Ralph and refer to her as “the lady with the fuzzy hat.”

What method did the family use to obtain it?

Nicky Verastro, Sabatino’s uncle, was in the armed forces during World War II and bought the enigmatic piece of art in 1944 for roughly $30 from a street vendor in London.

Although the picture was undoubtedly impressive, Sabatino’s heart skipped a beat as he noticed the signature.

What Made it Special?

For whatever reason, the painting Sabatino discovered was kept secret for all these years.
But why did it happen? Was his aunt attempting to keep it intact? And if that were the case, there had to be something significant about the picture that motivated her to cover it and hide it from view. Sabatino was close to his aunt and regretted having to say his ultimate goodbye to her, but he believed that discovering the truth about this piece of art would preserve her memory.

Signature of the artist

Discovering the identity of the artist who created an artwork is the first step in determining its value. Therefore, the first thing Sabatino did while trying to decipher what his aunt was trying to say when she ordered him to find the document was looking for a signature. He quickly located the artist’s name, and as soon as he read it, his heart leaped.
The word “Picasso” could be seen written in the painting’s corner as the artist’s signature. Sabatino needed a moment to gather himself because there was a possibility that he was staring at a piece of art made by one of the most well-known artists in history.

Keeping Hope

Since it’s quite implausible that a middle-class family living in Greenwich Village would own it, most people would immediately write this artwork off as a fake, but Sabatino felt there was a glimmer of hope that it might be genuine.
After all, his uncle Nicky had discovered it during World War II, which was, to put it mildly, a difficult time. The picture might have disappeared or been taken during the turbulence of the war, or it might have appeared on the streets after a neighbouring gallery was bombed or robbed.

Searching Begins

Carl Sabatino knew there was no turning back once he discovered this painting, but he had no clue it would launch him on a ten-year quest to learn where it really came from. He was motivated to solve the riddle of this artwork because it had suddenly become a representation of his family’s inheritance.

He needed to learn everything there is to know about the great artist whose signature purportedly graced the artwork that was concealed inside his aunt’s old sewing machine in order to find out if this painting was actually a Picasso. If it was, he would soon be extremely wealthy.

A Spanish Star

This piece of art is very expensive if it is genuinely by Pablo Picasso. How come?Even those with little or no knowledge of art have heard of Pablo Picasso. Although the renowned Spanish artist is frequently referred to as one of the pioneers of the Cubist style, he is renowned for much more.

Picasso was an accomplished painter as well as a master of sculpting, printmaking, pottery, and stage design, among other art forms. He was credited with creating built sculptures and collages, and his desire to always try out new aesthetics made him one of art history’s most revolutionary figures.

Young Protégé

Picasso’s father was both a painter and a professor of art, so it is not surprising that his son began formal painting instruction at the age of seven. Two years later, he produced “Le Picador,” his first picture, which featured a man mounted on a horse.

According to legend, Pablo’s father believed his son had outgrown him by the time he was 13 years old. His father contemplated quitting painting after seeing his son’s method, but with time, he changed his mind.

What Adds $140 Million to a Picasso Painting?

Picasso is one of the era’s best-selling artists, and the modern art market has been booming recently. Between 1989 and 2011, he won the title of the most profitable artist at auction 17 times. Since then, he has consistently been among the top five Western artists in terms of sales, with an estimated $300 million in annual auction earnings.

Picasso’s masterpieces are becoming harder to find and more expensive as a result. This is particularly true of his “Blue” and “Rose” paintings, early Cubist compositions, and works that have a close connection to the artist’s private life.

The Blue and Rose Periods of Picasso: What Are They?

It’s common to refer to Picasso’s early 20th century work as his “blue and rose” phase. The artist first produced a collection of gloomy paintings in blue and blue-green tones. Lighter tones were rarely used to warm them up, but that began to shift around 1904.
Picasso started using orange and pink tones at this time, which made his paintings considerably more lively. Characters with checkered patterns were frequently seen in the artwork he produced at this time, which came to represent him personally.

Picasso’s most famous artwork, Guernica, was created in 1937, not long after Nazi forces bombed the city during the Spanish Civil War. During this historical event, which resulted in the loss of hundreds of lives, this artwork portrayed the agony of people and animals who were torn apart by violence and turmoil.

Guernica is one of the most dramatic and potent anti-war artworks in history, according to art historians. In the years after its creation, it made multiple trips across the globe, but it is presently on display in Madrid’s Museo Reina Sofa.
Piccaso was already well-known throughout the world and a star in the art world at the time this piece was produced.

Turbulence of War

Picasso suffered as a result of World War II because he no longer felt welcome in Paris. German troops came to control the city, and they didn’t care for this famous artist because his aesthetic did not adhere to the Nazi vision of art.

Throughout the entire war, the Gestapo harassed Picasso and prevented him from showing his artwork. He turned to poetry out of desperation to find a new creative outlet. During the 1940s, he also tried his hand at screenwriting and penned two plays.

He had to learn more.
Sabatino was researching the well-known artist and learning more and more details about his life that would help him decipher the meaning behind the artwork.

Sabatino had the impression that there must be more to the painting than what the naked eye could see after learning about Picasso’s struggles during World War II.
Long-Lasting Legacy Pablo Picasso dominated the modern art world in Europe for many years, and his influence is still felt today. He is regarded by art historians as one of the most significant and important Spanish artists of the 20th century, and his works continue to inspire new generations of artists.

High Price

In addition, Picasso’s life entered the cultural debate as a result of the films and television programmes that highlighted his extraordinary journey. Some of the biggest names in Hollywood played him, including Antonio Banderas in the miniseries Genius and Anthony Hopkins in the 1996 movie Surviving Picasso.
Paintings by high-priced Picasso are currently dispersed over the globe, although many of them may be found in the Picasso Museums in Paris and Barcelona. Many of the ones that are in private collections are highly valuable and made the list of the most expensive paintings ever sold.

Picasso’s personal record was broken when Version O of Women of Algiers sold for $179.4 million in 2015. The fact that owning an original Picasso may practically turn you into a millionaire is one of the reasons Carl Sabatino was so determined to learn where the picture his aunt had given him came from.

Expert Advice

Sabatino decided to take the painting of “the lady with the fuzzy hat” he had discovered below his aunt’s sawing machine to Christie’s in New York, but their expert quickly discounted it as a cheap copy.

“After looking at it for about 30 seconds, she literally flipped it back in my direction and told me not to waste my time because it was only $10. I responded, “Okay, but where do you think it originated? It is coloured. She gave me a look akin to a deer in headlights. Sabatino told the New York Daily News that she didn’t have an explanation.

original artwork

It’s not hard to understand why the Christie’s expert swiftly disregarded Sabatino’s artwork, despite the fact that she didn’t have all the solutions he was looking for. There was a Picasso picture nearby that resembled it exactly. Picasso painted “Woman with a Cape” when he was just 19 years old, and it is on display at the Cleveland Museum.

Picasso had a strong emotional connection to Paris, therefore any artwork he produced there may be highly valuable. Why was it so important?

At the turn of the century, Paris was regarded as the centre of European art, and Picasso made the decision to travel rather than continue his education in a classroom because he simply didn’t enjoy sitting still. In 1900, he visited Paris for the first time; it was the beginning of many visits.
He frequently visited the French capital and was a well-known figure in the thriving artistic community there during the Roaring Twenties, where writers and performers like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Cole Porter, and Ernest Hemingway frequently congregated.

Blue Undiscovered Picasso

Carl Sabatino spent so much time solving this puzzle that he ultimately made the decision to pen a book about his amazing journey. In 2017, Picasso published Picasso Undiscovered in Blue: Journey of a Lifetime, which he dedicated to his aunts Jenny and Rose Verrastro.

This book is a “story of discovery, a hunt for the truth about a work of art — a voyage motivated by the passion to know whether the art was created by the hands of Pablo Ruiz Picasso, and whether one of those hands had left a fingerprint,” according to the official synopsis.

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