Couple Unknowingly Buys Long Lost Sculpture For $7,500 - It Could Now Sell For Up To $10.5 Million At Auction

20 years ago, a British couple purchased a statue for £5,200 ($7,540) to decorate their garden. The weathered piece was then restored to its original white finish last summer when it was identified to be a long-lost work of Italian master Antonio Canova, which has been searched for by scholars for decades.

The sculpture, titled “Maddalena Giacente” (Recumbent Magdalene), depicts a penitent Mary Magdalene “in a state of ecstasy,” according to Christie’s. It was commissioned by Robert Jenkinson, second Earl of Liverpool, during his term as British prime minister and made between 1819 and 1822.

The piece was lost over the years through a number of auctions and estate sales and will now be put up for auction at Christie’s London for an estimated £5 million to £8 million ($6.5 million to $10.5 million), resulting in a potential 1,400x return on the couple’s investment.

The art market has been garnering increasing interest and retail investors now have options to gain access to this valuable asset class.

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Photo courtesy of Christie's London

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