Hanging undisturbed for nearly a half century in a summer cottage on the Connecticut shoreline, a small depiction of The Madonna and Child sold for $184,000 this past Sunday at Fairfield Auction in Monroe, US.
Gallery owner Jack DeStories discovered the work on a routine house call in July and immediately knew he had a special painting on his hands.
"We saved the painting an extra two months so it could be fully advertised to the European market and it looks like it paid off," he said.
Several European bidders and an American museum vied for the work, but in the end it sold to a collector in the sales room.
The painting is believed to be the work of Giovanni Battisto, also known as Sassoferrato who painted in 17th century Italy.
Other examples of his work can be found in The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Louvre in Paris.
Other categories also performed well in the sale.
A group of Louis Vuitton luggage topped by a wardrobe trunk earned $10,350. A Hans Wegner "Valet" chair also did well at $7,475 and a Tiffany desk lamp made $8,050.
Prices quoted include a 15% buyer's premium.