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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 May, 2004, 18:40 GMT 19:40 UK
Raphael sketch 'found in drawer'
Head Of A Child sketch
The unknown Raphael sketch is expected to fetch 70,000
An unknown Raphael sketch has been discovered in a London home where it is thought it may have been hidden for more than 100 years.

The unsigned drawing, Head Of A Child, was recognised by a Sotheby's expert as she looked through a folder of Italian sketches found in a drawer.

The sketch is expected to fetch up to 70,000 when it is auctioned on 8 July.

The drawing, which dates back to about 1505, is Raphael's first sketch to be auctioned in seven years.

'Beautifully executed'

A Sotheby's spokeswoman said the family who own the house may have bought it as collectors as far back as the 19th Century.

It was spotted by Cristiana Romalli, an expert in Old Masters who said she immediately recognised it as a Raphael.

She said: "It was beautifully executed, and the combination of stylus and red chalk spoke to me immediately of Raphael.

"I was astonished. I could hardly believe that a work by so major an artist could really be here, so unexpected, and with no indication whatsoever of any previous attribution."

She said the sketch was drawn between the Early and High Renaissance periods.

It was authenticated after exhaustive checks at the National Gallery.


SEE ALSO:
Gallery to keep Raphael's Madonna
13 Feb 04  |  Entertainment
Raphael painting 'not authentic'
16 Sep 03  |  Tyne/Wear
Export ban extended on Raphael
22 Aug 03  |  Entertainment


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