TV Stand Antique: $150 Chest Turns Out To Be Worth $9.5 Million
An antique TV stand, purchased for about $150, has sold for $9.5 million after an auctioneer spotted the chest in a private home.
The chest, a 370-year-old wood and gold lacquered Japanese antique created by artisan Kaomi Nagashige, was spotted by a British auctioneer visiting the house of a deceased French engineer where the chest was being used as a TV stand and bar. The engineer's offered the auctioneer a drink of sherry from "Daddy's bar," and the auctioneer was taken aback when he saw the Japanese chest.
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The antique TV stand turned out to be from 1640 and had belonged to a serious of prominent people, beginning with Cardinal Jules Mazarin, France's chief minister, then a British poet named William Beckford and later a series of antique collectors.
The unnamed engineer of the antique TV stand purchased it in 1970 from a Polish doctor. The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has been searching for the chest since 1941, the last time the chest was recorded in a sale.
The antique TV stand was purchased by the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. At $9.5 million, the museum still says the Japanese chest was the "worth every penny."
"The thing to note about this chest is that it is the best of the best," said Rijksmuseum curator Menno Fitski. "It was the best when it was made and the same still applies today." He added that the chest's quality is "the highest and the level of detail is incredible."
According to the Daily Telepgraph, the antique TV stand is thought to be the second-highest sum ever paid for a piece of Japanese art, the first being a 12th century Buddha which sold for about $10.1 million ion 2008.
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