An expert in antique books, Ian Marr, recently made a surprising discovery when he found a portrait of the grandmother of Henry VIII, Lady Margaret Tudor. The picture had been stored away in an attic in Petworth and has recently been sold at auction.
Marr had been asked to look at some books that were being considered for auction. The expert, who is a specialist for the John Nicholson auctioneers, was walking around the house and spotted the painting in storage. The owner of the portrait believed that the art work was of no value and that it depicted a nun. Following further investigation, Marr discovered that the portrait was of Margaret Beaufort, King Henry VII’s mother and the grandmother of Henry VIII.
The portrait was painted after Lady Margaret Tudor had died in 1509. Many of the portraits of the countess are housed in institutional collections, so the discovery of a portrait in a private collection is surprising in itself.
As there are many portraits of Lady Margaret in existence, the value was placed at between £600 and £800. To the owner’s delight, the painting was eventually sold at auction for £2,000.
If the portrait had been purchased at an established antiques dealer, it may have cost slightly less as a premium is charged at auction. Buyers of fine art may also discover an antique cabinet in Cumbria or other county nationwide, in which to display a portrait to its full potential.
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