The Repair Shop: 'Exceptional' Charles II portrait restored on TV show

Image source, Plank/BBC
Image caption,
Liz Vella had been urged by her son Dylan to get the picture restored on the TV show

A woman who inherited a painting of Charles II was stunned to find out it was one of the earliest-ever paintings of the monarch.

Liz Vella, from Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire, took the dirty artwork to experts on BBC show The Repair Shop.

As it was restored, it emerged the painting was from the late 1600s and was of historical significance.

Painting conservator Lucia Scalisi said the portrait and its condition after so long was "quite exceptional".

Ms Vella said she had been "completely blown away" by what experts had done to it.

She picked up the restored painting with her seven-year-old son, Dylan Maggs, who had urged her to take it to be seen by experts.

Image caption,
The painting, from the late 1600s, was restored by experts on The Repair Shop

Ms Vella believes her great-grandfather bought the painting during the 1910s or 1920s after "he had amassed a bit of a wealth".

That has "sort of disappeared through generations" but "one of the few things" that had stayed within her family from that time is the painting.

"I think one of the reasons it remained was because no one realised the significance of it," she said.

Ms Vella said her grandfather had been told "by a so-called expert" in the 1980s that the painting was worthless.

"I think the key line was: 'the frame's worth more than the painting,'" she added.

Who was Charles II?

  • The eldest surviving child of Charles I, who was executed following the English Civil War in 1649
  • Was King of Scotland from 1649 until 1651 and King of Scotland, England and Ireland following the restoration of the monarchy in 1660
  • Was known as the Merry Monarch because of the way his hedonistic court contrasted to the way the Puritans ruled following the civil war