We know and love Antiques Roadshow for its ability to rustle up incredible works of art, historical figurines and, at times, beloved but valueless family heirlooms, in attics and basements across Britain.
But one find from Father Jamie MacLeod piqued the interest of one of the show’s hosts Fiona Bruce, who spotted a familiar little feature in a painting he brought in.
Despite bearing the artist’s name, Anthony Van Dyke, on the piece’s wooden frame, there were doubts over whether it was actually an original piece from the man himself, and whether his original artwork could lie beneath canvas.
“When I saw this, something about the eyes and the way you can see the bone under the nose here, it just looked similar to the kind of paintings I’d been looking at, so I thought, ‘Who knows, it could be?’,” Fiona said.
BBC art expert Phillip Mould added: “It’s as off-piste as you get but if this is to be by Van Dyck there’s only one way of finding out.
“The question is, are you prepared to commission a process of cleaning and restoration, by which paint is radically removed but later could reveal what I hope could be an original work beneath.”
After months of painstaking work to restore the painting to its original form, art experts concluded that the work was, in fact, an original Anthony Van Dyke, and that it was worth over $AUD750,000.
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