400-year-old portrait is set to fetch £20K after it was found hanging on door ... trends now
A 400-year-old portrait of a regally-dressed child from the era of Charles I could fetch £20,000 at auction after being found hidden away in a cottage.
The forgotten painting from 1626 was left out of sight on the back of an open door for several decades at a property in Surrey.
It shows a unknown but wealthy child, aged around two-years-old, dressed head to toe in lavish formal attire, making her look like a 'miniature adult'.
The valuable portrait was uncovered by an antiques expert during a house clearance following the death of its owner - who collected paintings as a hobby.
It is expected to fetch between £18,000-£20,000 when it goes under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers in London on January 28.
A forgotten 400-year-old painting worth up to £20k has been discovered hidden away in a Surrey cottage
The Adriaen Verkins painting is up for auction after an antiques expert discovered it on the back of a door
Chris Kirkham, associate director at Hansons London, said: 'I was surprised to find such a compelling portrait hidden away.
'However, I discovered there was a reason for it. The keen collector who acquired it had downsized some years before and brought all of his much-loved antiques with him.
'His collection included several paintings which were hung on much smaller walls than they had originally been intended for.
'He struggled for display space and this little girl in all her finery got tucked away behind a door.
'Sadly, the collector passed away and this centuries-old work was forgotten.'
He continued: 'The vendor's late father had an intellectual appreciation of antiques.
'When she showed me around the house to assess some of his acquisitions she admitted she'd forgotten about the portrait.
'It was blocked from view because the door was almost always left open. I just happened to move it and thank goodness I did.
'Such is its importance this portrait will go to auction in January with a guide price of £18,000-£20,000.'
The child is wearing a elaborate full-length embroidered black and cream dress with exquisite detailing and a stiff wide