Scottish Nobles Accidently Found a Lost John Constable Painting

Scottish Nobles Accidently Found a Lost John Constable Painting in a Guest Room of Their Craufurdland Castle.

Aug 7, 2023By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
A Constable painting, discovered in a castle in Scotland on the new British TV show Millionaire Hoarders. Photo courtesy of Channel 4.


Scottish nobles came across the painting when they inherited the Craufurdland Castle. While wandering through the rooms of the castle, they came across a painting that turned out to be John Constable‘s famous work. When British spouses, Audity and Simon Houison Craufurd, realized how much money they can earn, they also appeared on British TV show “Millionaire Hoarders”.


Scottish Nobles to Use the Painting for Maintaining the Castle

6 Facts About British Painter, John Constable
6 Facts About British Painter, John Constable


Learning that the painting hanging in the guest room is of a castle they’ve owned for 800 years, changed their lives. With the inheritance of a 600-acre Glasgow estate, came the costs of maintaining such a large space ($127,000 a year). Various events and room rentals were not enough to cover the expenses, so the aristocrats thought about selling part of the estate.


With selling the artwork, the couple can earn up to $2 million, which they can use for the estate’s maintenance. Also, in this way, they can pass their inheritance to children, and not sell it because it is too expensive to take care of it. They were also on British TV show “Millionaire Hoarders”. In this show, appraisers of artifact value are going into old estates and hunting the treasure.


john constable view on the stour, Scottish nobles
View on the Stour near Dedham, full-scale sketch by John Constable, R.A., 1821-22, via Christie’s


The painting was previously rejected and declared a forgery. On the other hand, the experts of this reality show really believe that the artwork belongs to this landscape artist. “It’s funny because it’s a painting that I have seen I don’t know how many times and I have never actually paid any attention to it”, Simon Houison Craufurd said.

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Proofs on Old Bridge

john constable leaping horse, Scottish nobles
The Leaping Horse by John Constable, 1825, via the Royal Academy of Arts, London


The search lasted half a year and Ronnie Archer-Morgan led it. He was convinced it was a genuine Constable. He even discovered proof in the artist’s drawings that the painter visited the area in the 1820s, when he supposedly created the painting. Additional analyzes are needed to determine the truth about the origin of the image. If the allegations are correct, the image can reach a value of up to $2.5 million dollars.


“It’s funny because it’s a painting that I have seen I don’t know how many times. I have never actually paid any attention to it. The potential that the painting could bring to what we want to with the estate going forward is not just life changing just for us. It is also a a legacy that will, I would hope, go on for generations and generations”, Craufurd said.


salisbury cathedral leadenhall john constable
Salisbury Cathedral and Leadenhall from the River Avon by John Constable, 1820, via the National Gallery, London


The painting, of a tree next to a bridge, is titled Old Bridge over the Avon. It also has Constable’s initials on it. Archer-Morgan identified a real bridge matching the image over The River Thames at Abingdon, Oxfordshire. It led him to believe that the work may have been mislabeled.

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By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.