The Treasure Behind The Frame

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It has to be the secret dream of every fan of antiquing and yard sales -- finding a hidden treasure in a purchase.

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This portrait of a woman and child was hidden behind a photo in an antique frame found in Pine.

Elaine Fort of Mesa hit the jackpot not long ago while visiting one of the antique shops in Pine.

"It was kind of a girls' weekend," she said. "My parents have a cabin in Pine, so some friends and I had gone up for a little getaway and we went to this shop."

Fort said she does not have many antiques, but the friend she was shopping with does. The friend pointed out an old photo in a frame with convex glass.

"She said those kind of frames are hard to find. I looked at it and it's almost as if it was calling my name," she said. "The man in the shop said he thought the man on the horse in the picture was one of the Randall boys. That's my husband's family. I wanted to see if the man was identified on the back of the picture."

They took the frame apart and discovered not one, but two old, hand-tinted photos, one of a woman and child and the other of a man in a field with sheep and a dog.

"My mother-in-law didn't recognize any of the people in the photos and neither did a friend she showed them to," Fort said. "I think the man in the field resembles the Leavitts, who married into the Randall family."

She said the man in the shop told her he had bought the framed photo at an estate sale in Strawberry.

Fort is interested in learning the identities of the people in her antique photos and would like anyone with information about them to contact her at 3113 E. Harmony Ave., Mesa, Ariz., or e-mail her at ecfort@hotmail.com

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