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Local resident’s family owned $450m. Da Vinci

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GUERNSEY resident Sir Christopher Cook was completely unaware that a Da Vinci painting once sold by his family for just £45 had fetched a world record $450m. at auction in New York City.

Security guards stand next to Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi on show at Christie’s in London. The work, formely owned by the family of local resident Sir Christopher Cook, whose family sold it for £45, reached a world record auction price of $450m. (£341m.) in New York. (Picture by Isabel Infantes, PA Wire)

It fetched such a small sum when sold by Sir Christopher’s family because at the time it was attributed to Giovanni Boltraffio, an artist who worked in Da Vinci’s studio in the 15th and 16th century.

Speaking yesterday, Sir Christopher said he was out of the country when the painting was sold at Sotheby’s in June 1958 and has no records of what was in the collection which was once owned by Sir Francis Cook at Doughty House in London.

Sir Francis was an art collector and merchant who was one of the three richest men in Britain in the late 18th century.

The piece was acquired for the Cook collection in the last year of Sir Francis’s life, having also been owned by King Charles I, and Louis XII of France.

Full story in today's Guernsey Press

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