Long-lost Emily Brontë portrait valued up to £40,000 under the hammer with Northamptonshire auctioneer

The painting was deemed 'irrevocably lost' in the late 19th-century but has since been found

Friday, 7th May 2021, 2:09 pm
Updated Friday, 7th May 2021, 2:12 pm
The lost 'Bonnet Portrait' of Emily Brontë being auctioned by Humbert & Ellis Auctioneers

A long-lost painting of author Emily Brontë is being sold online by a Northamptonshire auctioneer with a estimated value of between £25,000 and £40,000.

The 'Bonnet Portrait' was deemed 'irrevocably lost' by 19th-century author William Robertson Nicholl.

He wrote an article in The Woman at Home magazine in 1894, which included an illustration of the Wuthering Heights writer by her sister, Charlotte.

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The 'Bonnet Portrait' of Emily Brontë (right) bears a striking resemblance to an illustration of the Wuthering Heights author by her sister Charlotte published in The Woman at Home magazine in 1894. Photo: Humbert & Ellis Auctioneers

The painting, which bears a striking resemblance to the illustration, was purchased by Professor Christopher Heywood for £20,200 in 2011.

After extensive research, the senior English lecturer at the University of Sheffield deemed it to be the lost portrait, setting out his factual and evidence-based reasoning in the Brontë Society Journal in 2015.

Humbert & Ellis Auctioneers, based in Towcester, is offering the painting 'without reserve' on behalf of the executors of the late Professor Heywood in a timed online auction, ending on Sunday, May 23.