A lost masterpiece hanging above a bed in an Enfield bungalow has sold for over £250,000.
A depiction of the Madonna and Child by Filipino Lippi, a student of the famous Renaissance artist Botticelli, was discovered during a routine evaluation.
The owner of the painting, who inherited it from her father more than 30 years ago, is a 90-year-old woman with dementia who has been living in a care home since last year.
Her family was selling their bungalow in Enfield, north London, when the surprising discovery happened.
The oil on canvas, which measures 50 cm by 43.5 cm, went to a UK bidder in an online auction for £255,000.
Auctioneer Peter Mason said: “We knew it would do well but the final price exceeded our expectations.”
Siobhan Tyrell, valuation head at Dawson Auctions, saw the painting.
She said: “There was nothing extraordinary in the house until I went to the bedroom and saw the painting hanging, over a bed. I recognized it was important immediately.”
The Filipino Lippi is believed to have been born in Italy in 1457 and was a student of Botticelli. His work includes frescoes, altarpieces and paintings.