Gergely Barki, a researcher at the Hungarian National Gallery in Budapest whilst watching Stuart Little in 2009 with his daughter noticed the painting hanging above the Little's mantelpiece resembled a piece by Hungarian artist Robert Bereny, which was thought to have last been seen in public in 1928.

Barki recognized the painting as Sleeping Lady with Black Vase.

sl Stuart Little, 1999

blog Robert Bereny, Sleeping Lady with Black Vase"

"It was not just on screen for one second but in several scenes of the film, so I knew I was not dreaming. It was a very happy moment," said Barki.

"I started to write e-mails to everyone involved in the film."

Barki sent letters to the film's creators, Sony Pictures and Columbia Pictures and eventually received a reply from the film's  set designer two years on.

Barki discovered a film assistant purchased the painting in a Pasadena antiques shop for a mere $500.

Bereny was a member of  The Eight, the Hungarian avant-garde collective known who brought Cubism and Expressionism to Hungary. According to Barki, Bereny may have even had a romantic liason with Anastasia, the daughter of Russia's last tsar, Nicholas II.

The painting will be auctioned off by Budapest's Virag Judit auction house on Dec. 13th, with a starting price of $110,000.

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