Fiona Bruce, the presenter of Antiques Roadshow, was thrilled when a painting she recognised as a Van Dyck, was valued at £400,000, especially as it had been purchased by its owner for £400. The TV presenter had previously worked on a programme about the famous 17th century artist Anthony Van Dyck and believed the painting to be one of his works.
Father Jamie MacLeod had bought the painting, mainly because he liked the frame, and he paid just £400. The portrait of a Brussels magistrate is thought to have been completed in preparation for a larger painting which was done in 1634. The larger painting had been destroyed in 1695 but the smaller portrait remained in existence. During the intervening years, the painting ended up at an antiques shop in Cheshire, which is where Father MacLeod spotted it.
Father MacLeod runs a retreat in Derbyshire and now wants to sell the painting to raise funds for the repair of the bells, housed in the chapel on the retreat. Until the valuation by world expert on Van Dyck, Dr Christopher Brown, the painting hung on a wall in a hallway at the retreat, at one time falling off a wall and smashing a CD player.
The painting may have been safer stored in an antique cabinet. Lancashire has antiques dealers who have a selection of antique cabinets and other furniture available for viewing. The golden frame of the painting would be enhanced by the tones of the wood used in the making of the cabinet.
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