A remarkable collection of 17th century art and furniture sold in the UK on January 12, with the top lot a painting in the manner of England-based Dutch painter Sir Peter Lely, which brought £62,000 ($99,988) - a 1,140% increase on its £5,000 ($8,063) top-end estimate.
The painting, featuring two young gentlemen depicted aside a pair of lurchers, all positioned against a dramatic, parkland backdrop, is typical of the period in which it was painted. The boys' elaborate attire, pose and situation, as well as the presence of hunting dogs are all 17th century cultural signifiers of wealth and nobility.
The painting would have been considered a status symbol and was likely to have been prominently displayed. Very little is known about the young men it depicts, however.
The parkland portrait is inscribed in the lower right corner: "The honourable Francis and Henry Lennard son of Francis L D'Acre and brothers to Thomas Leon."
The historic painting was discovered during a routine house inspection in Staffordshire, among a plethora of antique furniture and furnishings. Described by auctioneer Charles Hanson as "a time capsule", the imposing black and white timbered property housed an impressive collection that had been amassed over many decades by a recently deceased couple.
Hanson commented before the sale: "On entering the house it was like going back in time to the period of Shakespeare. Every item of antique furnishing in the principal rooms dated back to the 17th century.
"From oak coffers to oak press cupboards and fourteen long case clocks from the late 17th century you really felt you were back in a period when Charles I was king of England."
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