It is what every collector and every art professional dreams of, finding a masterpiece by one of the world’s greatest artists that has been forgotten in a drawer, unknown to the world. This is exactly what happened when Dr Frederick Mulder CBE and Anne-Françoise Gavanon, the directors of Frederick Mulder Ltd, one of the world’s best known specialists in original European printmaking from 1470 to 1970, set their eyes on a Matisse cut-out five years ago. Five years is what it took them to convince the owner to depart from a beloved masterpiece. In the end, the owner decided to sell Mulder not one, but three cut-outs. Not even the blockbuster exhibition Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs at the Tate Modern and Museum Of Modern Art in New York succeeded in bringing many cut-outs to the market. Indeed only three cut-outs have come up for sale since the exhibition ended, and only four in the previous 10 years.

Read More: Henri Matisse cut-outs, in the same hands for six decades, emerge for sale at Frederick Mulder Ltd.