Van Dyck painting could bring over $3m

A self-portrait by Sir Anthony Van Dyck - court painter to King Charles I - is expected to sell for £3m at Sotheby's in London on December 9.

The portrait is described as, "by far and away the most important portrait by Van Dyck to come to auction in my 35-year career at Sotheby's," auctioneer David Moore-Gwyn told the London Evening Standard.

Hopes are high: the previous highest selling price for a Van Dyck is $3.1m. The canvas of a rearing stallion sold at Sotheby's in London in July, 2008.

Because this Van Dyck is a self-portrait, the personal nature of its content may boost the value even higher.

The artwork was reportedly sold in 1712 to Sir Francis Child, founder of the Bank of England and one-time Lord Mayor of London.

The painting has since stayed in the family by descent.

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