10:26 AM May 14, 2022
A Norfolk family were astonished to hear that a painting hung in their hallway for decades could be worth tens of thousands of pounds.
The piece, depicting the Pantheon in Rome, hung largely unnoticed for 60 years and only garnered attention when the home was being packed up.
Upon inspection the family discovered the artwork was by French artist Jean Victor Louis Faure.
Titled Market Day, the painting was bought in 1965 by the owner’s father, Major H Mosse of Mendham Priory, Harleston in Norfolk.
It is expected to fetch up to £ 50,000 at auction.
Major H. Mosse’s son said: “My earliest recollection of this picture was the prominent position it occupied in the hallway of the family home for nearly 60 years, 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 was not 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, which stood out even more so now.
“This piqued my interest to find out a little bit more about the artist Jean Victor Louis Faure, as obviously, I had never thought of asking my parents during their lifetime anything about the picture.
“Surprisingly, this has turned out to be an important re-discovery of this impressive picture that I had grown up with.”
The oil-on-canvas painting, which is 1.21 meters by 1.72 meters in size, is expected to be highly sought after by collectors around the world as artwork from 19th century painter Faure rarely appears at auction.
Brandon Lindberg, Dreweatts Head of British & European Pictures, 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 an excess of £ 200,000, which is still the record price for the artist.”
The painting will go under the hammer at a sale of Old Master, British and European Art at Dreweatts on May 26.