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However, if this 17th Century Flemish School landscape of travellers on a tree-lined road, right, that came up for sale at Neales (15% buyer’s premium) on March 19, had been a seriously speculative sleeper, one suspects it would have been a specialist Old Master dealer who would have had the confidence to bid a winning £30,000 against an estimate of just £2000-4000. As here the buyer was a member of the consigning family, there may have been other motives for the purchase.

Described by the auctioneers as having been “kept in storage for donkeys’ years”, this 7 1/4 x 10 1/2in (18.5 x 27cm) panel was in extremely grubby, but otherwise seemingly well-preserved, condition.

No major Old Master artists’ names were being bandied round at the view and, even if it had yielded a spectacular clean, this was always going to fall into the category of a classy little decorative picture, rather than a Maastricht-worthy masterpiece.