'Antiques Roadshow' Find Is Highest-Valued Painting Ever on the Show

Monday, 30 Dec 2013 04:55 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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A painting featured on "Antiques Roadshow" turned out to be an original worth about $660,000, making it the highest-valued painting ever on the show.

The painting, bought for less than $600 in 2001 by a priest, turned out to be an authentic Anthony van Dyck artwork.

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The Independent said "Antiques Roadshow" host Fiona Bruce had just finished working on a show about Van Dyck, so when she saw the painting, she had an idea it might be real.

Father Jamie Macleod brought the painting to the show last year to get its value assessed because he was interested in buying new church bells, The Independent said. Bruce saw it there and, after restoration was done to remove paint added over the years, the painting was found to be genuine.

“It's everyone's dream to spot a hidden masterpiece, I'm thrilled that my hunch paid off, to discover a genuine Van Dyck is incredibly exciting. I'm so pleased for Father Jamie,” Bruce told The Independent.

Father Jamie is naturally thrilled by the news and will be able to buy more than church bells.

“It's been an emotional experience and it's such great news,” he told The Independent. “It's wonderful that new church bells hopefully will be pealing out to commemorate the centenary of the First World War in 2018.”

Van Dyck was a court painter in the 17th century.

“Discoveries of this type are exceptionally rare,” art expert Phillip Mould, who works for the “Antiques Roadshow,” told The Independent. “The painting's emergence from beneath layers of paint was dramatic. It's been revealed as a thrilling example of Van Dyck's skills of direct observation that made him so great a portrait painter.”

A Van Dyck self portrait has caused controversy in England in recent years after it was recently sold to a private collector overseas. Taking steps to keep the portrait in the country, the U.K. has deferred the export license to give a domestic buyer time to raise the asking price of about $20.7 million to keep the painting in the U.K.

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