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Subject: Junk shop painting could be worth £40m

Written By: Philip Eno on 03/26/11 at 9:21 am

A painting bought from a junk shop because the buyer liked the frame could be a £40million masterpiece.

Experts believe the picture of a small house by a river might be the earliest known work of French artist Paul Cezanne.

The buyer, a man from Northampton who does not want to be named, said: "I'm not trying to think about what to do with the money yet - I won't tempt fate."

He bought the 4ft x 3ft painting, which appears to be signed and dated 1854, six years ago and kept it in an attic.

"I bought the painting from a second hand shop in ­Northampton which sells all sorts of little bits and pieces of old tat," he said.

"I can't remember how much I paid, but it was under £100. I bought it for the frame and it's been gathering dust ever since."

Only later, flicking through an art history book, did he spot similarities between the 4ft by 3ft picture of a small house with an orange roof surrounded by trees in his attic and the work of Cezanne.

His suspicions were backed by Tim Conrad from Wilfords auction house, in Wellingborough, Northants.

Mr Conrad said: "The brushstrokes certainly look like Cezanne and it was usual for him to use a variety of signature styles.

"If it is, the impact would be enormous and it would fetch £40million easily."

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