Bust of Sir John of Invergordon once used as doorstop could now be worth £2.5million

Bust of Sir John of Invergordon once used as doorstop could now be worth £2.5million

An 18th-century bust of Sir John of Invergordon which was once used as a doorstop could now be worth £2.5million.

The 'Bouchardon Bust' was bought by Invergordon Town Council for just £5 more than 90 years ago.

The 1728 bust of MP Sir John Gordon was created by Edme Bouchardon - a French sculptor known for neoclassical statues in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles.

The bust was rediscovered by local councillor Maxine Smith in 1998 in an industrial estate in Balintore, Easter Ross, when she was trying to track down missing items in a storage shed.

She said at the time she believed it may have been in the shed for several decades before she uncovered it.

Speaking in 2016, Maxine said: ‘I started asking the council what happened to the old provost's robes and chains were and one of the Highland councillors suggested I try this shed.

‘I managed to get the key from the council. I found the robes and there was this bust just propping the door open.

‘I went back to the council and said that there's a bunch of stuff that looks like it's worth a lot of money and they need to get it out in case someone steals them.

‘The insurance team got in and we found that it was worth so much money. Back then it was worth about £200,000.’

Since its discovery it has been displayed at the Louvre in Paris and the Getty in Los Angeles.

But now it is said the bust could be worth more than £2.5m after experts at Sotheby’s described it as being ‘brilliant in execution.’

The sculpture is owned by the Invergordon common good fund, which is administered by Highland council.

The Highland council committee has now voted to hold a public consultation on the sale of the artwork which would bring a much-needed windfall to community projects.

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