Auction house Bonhams said that the still-life work, entitled "Bouquet De Roses", was completely unknown before the anonymous seller was contacted.
It is thought that the 1884 oil canvas depicting yellow roses, a traditional symbol of friendship, was originally given to a local politician in Rouen, France.
The influential artist was just 36 when he made the work, at a time when he was looking to support his family through his artwork after losing his job as a stockbroker due to a financial crisis.
Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse both cite Gauguin as an influence, but it was not until after his death in 1903 that he achieved worldwide acclaim.
The painting will go on sale on June 23.