Posted on July 18, 2019 at 2:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

One auction’s trash has proved to be a museum’s treasure.

What’s believed to be a long-lost portrait of author Charles Dickens, done when he was thirty-one by artist Margaret Gillies, has just been acquired by the Charles Dickens Museum.

The museum launched a fundraising campaign to acquire the painting, literally discovered when an auction-goer pulled it — covered in mold — out of a box of other items.

Luckily for the portrait, museum, and the seller, something besides the fungus stood out about it, and experts ultimately concluded it’s the 1844 work, which the artist had lost track of by the 1880s.

According to the Guardian, the museum, which raised £180,000 (about $224,700) to purchase the painting, will put it on display starting October 24.   

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