Art: $3 1,000 Dust Catcher

For years, the grubby little painting had been collecting dust in the attic of the Hopes of Aberlady, Scotland. It had cost only $50, back in 1834, and no one in the family considered it of any importance. But last summer, Major Archibald Hope decided to send it out for a cleaning. In one corner, restorers discovered the date 1565, the signature of the elder Pieter Bruegel.

Last week, authenticated as Bruegel's Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery, the little 9 by 13-in. wooden panel brought $31,000 at a London auction.

...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!