Published April 27, 2008
| Associated Press
ROANOKE ISLAND, N.C. – Experts are taking a closer look at a painting that not long ago was hanging in a North Carolina gift shop.
The oil painting of Queen Elizabeth I may be more valuable than anyone realized.
The Virginian-Pilot newspaper reports that the portrait is believed to have been painted in 1592, when Elizabeth would have been about 60 years old. It is one of the few portraits of the queen in her declining years.
If it's authentic, it could be worth millions.
An Auburn University English professor says the queen is shown, wrinkles and all, in an unflattering light. She says it's unlikely the queen ever saw the picture because she was known to destroy paintings that didn't flatter her.
The painting had been hanging in a gift shop at The Elizabethan Gardens gatehouse on North Carolina's Roanoke Island.