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'Antiques Roadshow' painting turns out to be 'exceptionally rare' van Dyck

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Antiques Roadshow is a program that has led to many surprises over the years, and there has been a ton of buzz over the weekend about one painting that proved to be especially surprising. According to BBC News on Sunday, the artwork was revealed to be a genuine painting by Flemish artist Anthony van Dyck worth about $650,000.

Father Jamie McLeod of Derbyshire first took the portrait of a magistrate from Brussels, which he'd been in possession of for over a decade, to a nearby taping of the antique appraisal show in Nottinghamshire last year. Though it was originally thought to be a copy, host Fiona Bruce spotted it and thought perhaps it could be an authentic van Dyck.

Art expert Phillip Mould was on hand during that taping and agreed to take a closer look, and Dr. Christopher Brown was later able to authenticate the painting after a substantial cleaning and analysis. McLeod brought the painting back to Roadshow in June for the taping of another episode revealing the discovery, which aired on BBC One Sunday.

The revelation set a record for the most valuable painting identified in Roadshow's 36-year history.

McLeod says he purchased the painting at a now-closed antique shop in Cheshire about 12 years ago for £400 (now equal to about $650) and chose it over a bookcase he was also eyeing.

"There was something about the portrait, something about him - the character, who in once sense looked rather an angry person but the more I looked at him and the years that went on the more I wanted to know more," he says.

McLeod plans to sell the painting to pay for new church bells.

Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641) was a Baroque artist who produced portraits of the likes of Charles I of England and became that country's premier court painter.

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