The genius and alchemy of opp-shops: the places where the discarded is re-cycled, down-cycled, re-purposed and re-sold and turned into cash which, depending on the opp-shop, supports counselling services, social work, the care of the dying, even the prevention of cruelty to animals.
Mrs Whistler knows all about being discarded and cast-off. When her son James painted her portrait in 1871 he called it simply Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1, a nomenclature which so outraged the English art world that in order to support his family, James had to pawn the painting. Now of course, it is one of the most famous images in the world and is worth millions of dollars.
This is perhaps why Mrs Whistler seems so sanguine about her tarnished frame, the silverfish which are nibbling away at her, and her humble location on the wall of the sorting room of the Salvation Army opp-shop: she knows that given sufficient time and changes in taste, even the apparently worthless discard can garner value.