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Painting sells for 590,000 pounds

world Updated: Dec 17, 2012 01:07 IST

PTI
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A Pre-Raphaelite artwork unearthed by a UK schoolteacher among her household junk has sold for a staggering 589,250 pounds at an auction.

The price has broken the world auction record for the Victorian artist William James Webbe, who painted the picture in 1856. His works rarely appear on the market and the highest price paid for one until last week was just 72,000 pounds. The battered painting emerged from mounds of clothes, books and toys as the family made space around some pipes for a plumber.

It turned out to be a picture that had been exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1856 when renowned critic John Ruskin admired the softness of the bird's feathers as "perhaps inimitable".