A long lost £255,000 masterpiece discovered hanging in a pensioner’s bungalow

Filippino Lippi’s £250,000,000 masterpiece depicting the Madonna and Child was long lost but was rediscovered hanging over a pensioner’s bed in her bungalow

Madonna and Child by Filippino Lippi
Madonna and Child by Filippino Lippi

A long-lost masterpiece worth £255,000 has been discovered after decades of disappearing, hanging over her bed in a pensioner’s bungalow.

Filippino Lippi’s depiction of the Madonna and Child was considered lost in the annals of history.

It spent decades sitting quietly above a bed in Enfield, north London, after the owner inherited it from her father over thirty years ago.

But now the 15th-century Italian master’s work has been rediscovered and sold at auction to a British buyer for over a quarter of a million pounds.

After the pensioner was placed in a care home last year as she suffered from dementia, the family prepared to sell their bungalow to fund her care.

The painting hung over the bed of a pensioner in north London for decades


Dawson’s Auctioneers / SWNS)

During a routine appraisal of the apartment, a perspicacious auctioneer spotted the long-lost masterpiece and immediately recognized it as a 16th-century painting.

Siobhan Tyrrell, Head of Valuations at Dawsons, stumbled across the amazing discovery.

The BBC’s Antiques Roadshow expert said: “I discovered this painting during an appraisal in a bungalow in north London.

“The 90-year-old owner left Italy when she was young and when her father died she inherited the painting. It was in her possession for over 30 years.

“Most of the furnishings in the house were of relatively little value and as I entered her bedroom I was utterly shocked to see this early religious painting hanging over her bed.

“It literally shone with quality! I’m not a painting specialist, but as a general appraiser with over 25 years of experience, I recognized this to be an exceptional 16th century work.

“I immediately told the family about its potential value and they were keen for me to consign it for our art auction.”

The painting, which measures 50cm x 43.5cm, attracted over 20 bidders before it was sold to the UK buyer.

Auctioneer Peter Mason said: “We knew it was going to go well, but the final price exceeded our expectations.”

Filippino Lippi was probably born in Italy around 1457 and was a pupil of the famous Botticelli.

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