A celebrated work by Jan Steen headlines Sotheby's Old Master and British Paintings sale on December 7th and 8th in London.
Steen's Card Players in an Interior (circa 1660) is one of his best preserved pieces.
The high degree of finish in the details make it one of the foremost examples of Steen's painting and of the 17th century Dutch genre to come to the market in recent years.
Steen's choice of subject - a soldier being disarmed by a woman's charms - is one of the most popular themes of the mid-17th century.
It comes to the sale with a £4.5m to £6m estimate, but could achieve significantly more considering the current buoyancy of the art market.
After an initial period of uncertainty among investors following the global economic downturn of late 2008, the art market is again surging forward.
The Artprice Global Index, which tracks art sales across 3,600 global auction houses, has shown recent signs of approaching pre-recession levels, despite the expected drop off in the slow month of September.
Collectors keen to capitalise on the upward trend should take a look at Paul Fraser Collectibles' stock, which features fascinating pieces by the art world's leading figures, including this work by Salvador Dali.
Alex Bell, Sotheby's co-chairman of Old Master paintings, commented: "The sale highlights demonstrate the mastery of some of the most important artists in the field, including Jan Steen, Jacob van Ruisdael, Lucas Cranach, Anthony Van Dyck, Johann Zoffany and Joseph Wright of Derby."
We will bring you all the key results from the auction later in the week.