18/04/2012 08:26 BST | Updated 17/06/2012 10:12 BST

Edwin Landseer Portrait Of Bronte Sisters To Go Under Hammer

The Bronte sisters believed to be by Sir Edwin Landseer

An auctioneer is hoping to score a hat-trick, selling a third item believed to be linked to the literary Bronte sisters.

The painting, thought to be a hitherto unknown watercolour of all three sisters, is the latest in the series of unrelated items concerning the trio to go under the hammer.

Believed to be painted by 19th century English artist Sir Edwin Landseer, it will be included in a two-day fine art and antiques sale later this month at J.P.Humbert Auctioneers in Northamptonshire.

It follows the auction house's sale of a small portrait believed to be of Emily Bronte recently for £4,600. In December, J.P.Humbert's sold another painting of the reclusive writer for £23,836.

Auctioneer Jonathan Humbert said there was no estimate on the latest discovery as it was impossible to say how much it would fetch, but he was hoping for a third sale of a Bronte-related artefact.

Mr Humbert said the painting, which appears to show all three sisters, has been attributed by a team from the National Portrait Gallery as well as four years of research by the vendor.

He said there were 10 evidential reasons supporting the suggestion it is of the Bronte sisters, and said its quality suggested it could only be attributed to an artist of Landseer's distinction.

The piece of art is believed to be signed by Landseer, and matches known features of the sisters.

"This is an exciting and important painting of museum quality and has a story to tell," he said. "I hope the art world will embrace it accordingly.

"There really is every possibility this is by Landseer and of the three Bronte sisters."

The sale of an unpublished manuscript by sibling Charlotte Bronte prompted a flurry of items relating to the literary sisters when it sold to a Paris museum for a record £690,850 at Sotheby's in December.

The manuscript set new auction records for a manuscript by Charlotte Bronte and for a literary work by any of the Bronte sisters when it was bought by Paris museum La Musee des Lettres et Manuscrits.

The latest painting relating to the sisters is set to go under the hammer on 26 April as part of a two-day fine art and antiques sale at J.P.Humbert's saleroom in Towcester, Northants.

HuffPost Culture recently ran a feature on female writers who were forced to adopt male pen names to be successful - including the Bronte sisters.

Women who had to pretend:

Women Writers Who Published Under A Male Pen Name