Picture, which the couple from England bought for next to nothing and almost used as an oil pan while repairing the motorcycle, was an expensive work of famous British artist Lucien Freud. This is reported by the Daily Mail.
The male portrait on a monochrome background was for sale along with two other framed prints. It all cost the pair 12 pounds sterling (1.1 thousand rubles). Unaware of the portrait's value, its new owners intended to deface it by putting it under a drain of machine oil while fixing a motorcycle.
They soon recognized a similar image in the TV show "Secrets of the Museum," which was about the auction house Gildings Auctioneers in Market Harborough, Leicestershire. The auction house confirmed that the couple's purchase is one of 46 prints depicting the artist David Dawson. The print will be auctioned off. It was estimated at 18 thousand pounds sterling (1.7 million rubles).
Twentieth-century art expert Will Gilding said, "I was happy to tell the couple that the print they bought for the price of a takeaway pizza was the work of perhaps the most famous figurative painter of the 20th century."
"How it was possible that such a valuable work was given away for almost nothing is a mystery," Gilding noted. One of the 46 prints was sold in New York several years ago for $30,000 (2.1 million rubles).
Earlier it was reported that a glass vase, bought at a flea market in the American region of the Pacific Northwest, was a rare example of 1902, which can go under the hammer for a million rubles. It was discovered by a buyer in a second-hand store.