An oil painting worth thousands has been rediscovered in the attic of a Dorset cottage.

The work, believed to be that of 18-century Flemish painter Jan Josef Horemans the Elder, is expected to fetch between £3,000 and £5,000 when it goes up at auction in July.

Horemans a leading chronicler of everyday life in Antwerp in the first half of the 18th century.

He was mainly known for his genre scenes, but he also painted portraits and historical allegories. Horemans also taught his brother Peter Jacob and son Jan Josef Horemans the Younger how to paint.

The painting was inherited by its owners decades ago from a family member. Having moved house 15 years ago, the picture was put in the attic and forgotten about until a recent clean up.

Upon finding the painting, they contacted Dorset-based auctioneers Charterhouse for auction advice.

Charterhouse founder Richard Bromell said: “We have made some great discoveries over the decades and still continue to do so today.

“You never know what you will see when visiting clients, but in attics it is generally Christmas decorations and empty suitcases.”

Charterhouse is accepting further entries for this auction of pictures and prints on July 6.

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