Forgotten masterpiece to ‘fetch £2m’
|The late Sir John Gooch outside Benacre Hall|
A 13th Century masterpiece which for years hung unnoticed on a landing in a country house has been described as a “once in a lifetime find” by art experts.
|I had trembling knees when I first realised what it was|
|Richard Charlton-Jones of Sotheby’|
The painting of the Madonna and Child enthroned with angel, by Italian master Cimabue, was discovered by Richard Charlton-Jones of Sotheby’s.
The Old Masters expert had been cataloguing the works for a house sale at Benacre Hall, near Lowestoft in Suffolk. They are being sold as part of the estate of Sir John Gooch, the 12th baronet of the property, who died in April last year.
Despite measuring just 10 inches by eight, the gold ground panel is expected to raise £2m at auction, Mr Charlton-Jones said.
Staff at the hall had no idea of the painting’s significance or value.
But Mr Charlton-Jones said the discovery was so rare it would probably never be repeated.
He said: “I had trembling knees when I first realised what it was.
The picture is thought to have been acquired by Edward Sherlock Gooch 6th Bt of Benacre in the early 19th Century.
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