An oil painting believed to be of author Emily Bronte will be the latest item relating to one of the literary sisters to go under the hammer.

But an official at the Bronte Society has cast doubt on whether or not the painting is actually of the famous author.

The piece is being sold by Northamptonshire firm JP Humbert Auctioneers after it sold another painting of the reclusive writer for £23,836 in December.

The previously unseen painting depicts a pensive-looking Victorian woman and is annotated Emily Jane Bronte. Ann Dinsdale, collections manager at the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth said: “The problem is who would have wanted to paint Emily Bronte, apart from her brother Branwell, who aspired to a career as a portrait artist?”