Nigerian painter and sculptor, the late Prof. Benedict Chukwukadibia Enwonwu painted three portraits of a Yoruba princess, Adetutu Ademiluyi in the early 70s.

However, the piece, popularly called Tutu, disappeared inexplicably before resurfacing now in London. The other two are yet unfound.

The paintings were lost for decades and one of them was eventually found in a London flat.

It is now up for sale in the British capital. Bonham's Director of Modern African Art, Giles Peppiatt, found the lost portrait.

Potential record sale

The painting will be sold at Bonhams in London February 28, 2018 but such is the anticipated interest that the sale will also be broadcast live to bidders in Lagos.

Tutu is expected to sell for between 100million and 150million [£200,000 and £300,000.] If it goes over the upper limit it will set a new record for a modern Nigerian artist. The other two paintings of Princess Tutu remain unaccounted for.

About Ben Enwonwu

Odinigwe Benedict Chukwukadibia Enwonwu better known as Ben Enwonwu was a Nigerian painter and sculptor. He is one of the pioneers whose career opened the way for the postcolonial proliferation and increased the visibility of modern African art and was the first Nigerian contemporary artist to win international acclaim.

The Enwonwu crater on the planet Mercury is named in his honour.