Antiques Roadshow discovers painting worth £400,000

Father Jamie MacLeod with the van Dyck, portrait bought for £400, with Antiques Roadshow host Fiona Bruce. Credit: Olwen Gillespie/BBC/PA Wire

The owner of a painting bought for just £400 discovered it was in fact a van Dyck portrait worth around £400,000 after taking it on the Antiques Roadshow.

The painting was taken along to a roadshow in Newstead Abbey, near Nottingham, last year by priest Father Jamie MacLeod who now plans to sell it to buy new church bells.

It was identified after the show's host, Fiona Bruce, who was making a show about the artist with expert Philip Mould, saw the painting and thought it might be genuine.

Mr Mould agreed to take a look at it and after a lengthy restoration process the painting was verified by Dr Christopher Brown who is one of the world authorities on van Dyck.The portrait, originally bought for £400 in a Cheshire antiques shop, is the most valuable painting to ever be identified in the show's 36-year history.

Anthony van Dyck was the leading court painter in England under King Charles I and is regarded as one of the masters of 17th century art.

A self-portrait recently sold for £12.5 million sparking a fundraising campaign to try to save the painting for the nation.

The work discovered on the show is a portrait of a Magistrate of Brussels which is believed to have been painted as part of the artist's preparation for a 1634 work showing seven magistrates which was eventually destroyed in a French attack on Brussels in 1695.

The discovery will be shown on tonight's episode of Antiques Roadshow at 7pm on BBC One.