Harleston family discover 19th century Jean Victor Louis Faure painting is worth up to £50,000 ahead of Dreweatts auction
A Harleston family were shocked to discover that an art piece that hung in their home for more than half a century could be worth as much as £50,000.
The oil painting – by esteemed French 19th century painter Jean Victor Louis Faure – was originally bought by the current owner’s father, a Major H Mosse of Mendham Priory, in 1965 and hung in the hall of the house for the best part of 60 years.
It was not until the Mosse family decided to move out of the home that the Major’s son began to ponder the value of the piece, titled Market Day, The Pantheon, Rome.
Mr Mosse said: “My earliest recollection of this picture was the prominent position it occupied in the hallway of the family home, where it witnessed the comings and goings of family life, the many great friends who visited and even a wedding reception.
“For the most part, it was just seen as an impressive picture occupying a large wall space, with the occasional glance to acknowledge its existence.
“It wasn’t until the end, when the house was cleared and the only item left was the picture still hanging on the wall in its same prominent position, that it stood out even more.
“This piqued my interest to find out a little bit more about Jean Victor Louis Faure, as obviously I had never thought of asking my parents during their lifetime.
“Surprisingly, this has turned out to be an important rediscovery of this impressive picture that I had grown up with.”
The work is now set to go for auction at Newbury-based auctioneer Dreweatts on May 26 and carries an estimate of £30,000 to £50,000.
Due to Faure’s work rarely appearing at auction, it is expected to be highly sought after by collectors around the world.
Brandon Lindberg, head of British and European pictures at Dreweatts, said: “It is rare to find a work on this scale and age in such untouched and original condition.
“Faure’s work only occasionally comes on the market and the most comparable example to this, sold over a decade ago for in excess of £200,000, is still the record price for the artist.”