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Painting bought for $5,000 in London sells for $5 million in New York City

By Andrew V. Pestano
Painting bought for $5,000 in London sells for $5 million in New York City
Nineteenth-century artist John Constable is believed to have created the work. CC/Wikipedia

NEW YORK, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- A painting bought at an auction in London in 2013 for $5,212 sold for $5.2 million on Wednesday in New York City.

The price disparity comes from a disagreement on the panting's authenticity between Christie's auction house and Sotheby's auction house.

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Sotheby's believed the painting to be an original by famous 19th-century painter John Constable, while Christie's believed it was the work of one of his followers.

"Constable is... one of Britain's best loved and most significant landscape painters, a key figure in British Romantic art of the early nineteenth century," Anne Lyles, a former curator of the Tate galleries in the U.K., said.

Christie's in London estimated the value of the oil-on-canvas panting "Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows" to be between $760 to $1,200.

Sotheby's auction in New York estimated the painting to be worth between $2 million and $3 million.

Lyles also said that the painting's authenticity could have been overlooked due to being "heavily retouched with a dark and opaque pigment... in a misguided attempt to 'finish' the painting, thus depriving it of its lively, sketchy quality."

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Christie's auction said in a statement that there is "no clear consensus" on the painting's authenticity.

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