A precious May Ray image that was discovered languishing in a French attic set a new world record for a Rayograph at auction when it sold for £232,000.

An ?anonymous? buyer snapped up the gem (pictured) which Man Ray created in 1930 but which remained hidden in an attic in the south of France for more than 35 years.

The picture – entitled Rayograph (Electricité), 1930 – smashed Christie?s pre-sale estimate of £100,000-150,000.

Man Ray ? an American – created Rayographs by placing objects directly onto photographic paper and exposing then to light. Pictures produced in this way are also known as photograms.

Man Ray had been commissioned to produce the picture by Paris-based electricity company CPDE. It was intended to help promote the use of electricity.

Covered in a thick layer of dust the record-breaking image was among a stash of ?never-before-seen? Rayographs which was discovered in 1997 and has remained in obscurity for nearly 80 years.

Man Ray – an American who died in 1976 – was considered to be a leading figure in the avant-garde art circles in Paris during the 1920s and 1930s.

The picture sold at Christie?s, 8 King Street, London.

Picture credit: Christie’s Images Ltd