Check the pictures hanging in your rectory, guys. You never know.
A portrait bought for £400 has been revealed as a long-lost van Dyck, worth at least £400,000 after examination at the Antiques Roadshow.
Father Jamie McLeod, a Catholic priest, brought the painting to the show after it was originally purchased in a Cheshire antiques shop, with no mention of the 17th century painter.
It was correctly identified as a masterpiece after the show’s host, Fiona Bruce, saw it and thought it might be genuine.
She had been making a show about van Dyck with art expert Philip Mould and it seemed to her to be remarkably similar in style to the ones she had seen featured in the programme.
After the roadshow, held at Newstead Abbey in Nottinghamshire, Mr Mould agreed to look at it. Following a lengthy restoration process, the painting was verified as a van Dyck by Dr Christopher Brown, one of the world’s authorities on the artist. The portrait, which is the most valuable to be identified in the 34-year history of the Antiques Roadshow, will now be sold to raise funds for new church bells.