A 17th century portrait by Anthony Van Dyck recently identified on the TV program Antiques Roadshow failed to find a buyer when it was offered at Christie’s evening sale of Old Master & British Paintings last night, the Guardian reports.
The piece was bought in a Cheshire antique shop for £400 twelve years ago by Father Jamie MacLeod, who hung it in the hallway of his house. When its true attribution was revealed, the presale estimate was set at £500,000. Father MacLeod had planned to use the proceeds to buy new bells for his local church.
But McLeod’s dreams were shattered in the auction room, when the piece failed to arouse the interest he had hoped for.
The auction grossed a total of £44,986,000, with the top price achieved for Francesco Guardi’s Venice, the Bacino di San Marco with the Piazzetta and the Doge’s Palace, which fetched £9,882,500.
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