Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

The works, valued at over £2m, include Endymion by George Frederick Watts and Apple Blossom by Sir George Clausen.

During the break-in, a gang of four thieves tied a house-sitter to a banister before making off with 15 paintings, antiques, jewellery and a Mercedes later found abandoned near Gloucester.

All bar one of the paintings have now been recovered, with Sir John Lavery's Afterglow, Taplow still missing. Other items from the theft still not accounted for include a George II giltwood mirror, a pair of candlebra and a bronze bust.

Back in 2010 and after the initial police investigation into the theft failed to produce any leads, private investigators were hired in an attempt to establish further information.

They began by placing a stolen advert in ATG, offering a £50,000 reward for information. Five years on, the advert was re-run in this newspaper in February this year. A tip-off was received in June and negotiations started for the recovery of the pictures.

One of the investigators involved was former head of Scotland Yard's Art and Antiques squad Richard Ellis, who organised an expert to view the pictures and establish their authenticity and condition before any money changed hands.

Ellis said: "The advert ensured these items remained too hot to handle. While I was lecturing in Italy, [art detective] Charles Hill took a phonecall from someone who had a source willing to share information. Together we worked with the insurers, their lawyers and with the police to assist in the recovery."

The police investigation into the theft is continuing.