A rediscovered masterpiece by Edwardian artist John William Godward could yield £200,000 for its Somerset owner when goes under the hammer next month.
Summer Idleness: Day Dreams, painted in 1909, was last recorded when it passed through Christies in London in 1937 and made just under £70. After a short spell with London dealers Vicars Brothers, the picture was bought for £100 in 1957 from Harrods.
Scholars only knew of the picture from a 1910 print but now the painting on canvas, is set to make £150,000-200,000 when offered for sale by Lawrences of Crewkerne on October 12. It is being sold by the daughter of the woman who purchased it from Harrods 55 years ago.
"It's a wonderful find," said Lawrences' specialist, Richard Kay. "The owners knew that they owned a fine picture but had no idea that its whereabouts had been unknown for well over half a century."
Expert Dr Vern Swanson, an American authority on Godward, has recently assessed the picture from a photograph and declared it to be a revelation, commenting that it is: "One of the most sensitively coloured paintings in Godward's oeuvre."
He added: "Godward dismayed his middle class London family by pursuing a career in art rather than a more traditional profession. He perfected a technique of painting gauzy fabrics, voluptuous feminine flesh and an extraordinarily realistic rendering of marble that looks tangibly cold."