A portrait by Velazquez, unknown until Bonhams discovered it amidst a consignment of another artist’s works, sold yesterday for $4.7m at the auction house’s Old Master Paintings sale in London. Had it been, as originally thought, the work of 19th century British painter Matthew Shepperson, it would have carried an estimate of $320-$480. Instead, with its new attribution, it sold for some 10,000 times that amount.
The auction also saw a new world record for a work by Dutch painter Adriaen Coorte, whose “Three peaches on a stone ledge with a Painted Lady butterfly” realized $3.3m. All told, the event brought in $9.9m.
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