A previously unrecorded painting by Dutch painter Adriaen Coorte was auctioned for £2.1 million, setting a world record.

The painting, which shows three peaches on a stone ledge and a butterfly above, was consigned in Australia and was sold in the Old Master Paintings auction at Bonhams, London.

Although the artwork had a pre-sale estimate of £300,000-500,000, it set a new record price for the Dutch artist.

Coorte was known for his intimate still life works with meticulous detail and beautiful handling of light.

The large number of connoisseurs of 17th century Dutch still lifes that I spoke to said this was the best example of Coorte's work that they had ever seen. It is fantastic that the price it fetched reflects this, said Andrew McKenzie, head of the Old Master Department in Bonhams.

This lost painting was spotted by a Bonhams specialist and its discovery is an interesting addition to Coorte's oeuvre. It belongs to a group of still lifes, all undated, which are signed with initials only.

Compositionally, this group is very close to another recently discovered painting of 1693, which allows a dating of 1693-95 for the Bonhams picture and the rest of the initialed group.

After being identified by Bonhams' Old Masters Department, the attribution was confirmed by Dr Quentin Buvelot and Fred Meijer of the RKD.