Evaluators were shocked when they were sent to appraise the estate of a 90-year-old woman and discovered a 16th century masterpiece.
The Antiques Roadshow’s Siobhan Tyrell was doing a valuation on the contents of a property that belonged to an elderly woman when he noticed a painting that he said, “glowed with quality”.
“I’m not a painting specialist, however as a general valuer with over 25 years’ experience, I recognised that it was an exceptional work from the 16th century”.
What he had stumbled upon was a piece by accomplished Italian painter Filippino Lippi, who lived and painted in Florence from 1457 to 1504. He’s regarded as one of the most famous renaissance painters, with this painting called – Madonna and Child- having been created around 1483-84.
How it ended up in the London bedroom of an Italian nonna is an interesting story according to Mr Tyrell.
“The 90-year-old owner had left Italy in her youth, and when her father died, she inherited the painting.
“I immediately told the family of its potential high worth, and they were keen for me to take it to be consigned to our Fine Art sale.”
Mr Tyrell works for Dawnsons London auction house, who deal exclusively in fine art and antiques.
They were able to successfully auction the painting for A$455,000, which Dawsons said will go to nursing care costs for the elderly woman.
“The vendor is suffering from dementia and her family have been keen to provide improved care and accommodation to make her life more comfortable, but increased costs had made this impossible… until now.
“Fittingly, given the subject matter of the painting itself, this wonderful picture has really turned out to be a godsend to them all.”
The record for the most expensive Lippi art sold at auction was priced at $2.3 million after being sold at a Christie’s auction in 2005.