A charming painting Queen Victoria gave Prince Albert as a birthday present 175 years ago is being sold at auction after surfacing for the first time in five decades.
The monarch presented her beloved husband with the artwork by Belgian artist Charles van Meer on his 25th birthday in 1844.
Titled 'The Larder', it shows a kitchen maid peeling apples and bears Albert's personal collector's mark 'PA' surmounted by a crown on the reverse of the panel.
Following Albert's death in 1861, Victoria kept hold of it for the rest of her life and it was subsequently passed to their third daughter, Princess Helena, before entering a private US collection in the 1960s. « less