We all dream of turning up to the Antiques Roadshow with a family heirloom we’ve uncovered while rooting through the loft that turns out to be a rare and extremely expensive surprise.
A forgotten Picasso maybe, a handwritten note by Edward VIII, a flawless diamond as big as an apple.
But imagine finding out you had been looking at one of only 20 surviving paintings by Leonardo Da Vinci. Sadly, this didn’t happen in the Gazette area. But verifying work by a famous artist can be fraught with problems.
To date, the world’s most expensive painting ever auctioned, was Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi.
The ‘lost masterpiece’ was first put up for auction in a small sale in New Orleans. It was authenticated in 2008 and unveiled for he first time by the National Gallery in 2011.
Christie’s in London put the painting up for auction in 2017, where it sold for $450million. It was bought by Mohammed bin Salman, crown prince of Saudi Arabia with the intention of hanging it in the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
However, some experts think the work should be attributed to a notable Da Vinci imitator, Bernadino Luini.