The oil shows two dogs with their three puppies on a grand scale. The painting measures 3ft 4in x 4ft 2in (1.02 x 1.27m) and was completed in 1848 by animal artist Henry Calvert for Mr David Laing.
It is one of the works to be exhibited at the stand of Bagshawe Fine Art during the five-day fair at Chelsea. Dealer Nicholas Bagshawe had initially described the dogs as "scruffy" cross-bred terriers and it was not until recently that they were given their proper identification.
“Painstaking research has unearthed a catalogue for an exhibition at the Royal Manchester Institution where the painting is listed with its original title of The Dandie Dinmont Family,” says Bagshawe. “The substantial size – and therefore expensive cost – of the picture seems to underline Mr Laing’s considerable pride in this canine family.”
The Dandie Dinmont features a top-knot of hair on its head and is named after a character in Sir Walter Scott’s novel Guy Mannering. They are thought to have originated during the early 1700s and are now listed among vulnerable native UK breeds.
Bagshawe added that the painting “will be a most exciting discovery to Dinmont enthusiasts”.
The painting is available for £28,500 at the upcoming Penman Fair, which runs from March 15-19 at Chelsea Old Town Hall.