SA's Only Antiques, Collectables And Decorative Arts Magazine



japaneseantiqueFamily find £6.3 million Japanese antique at home

Courtesy: Radhika Sanghani and Agencies Source: &

A family have been turned into millionaires after their ‘TV stand’ proved to be worth £6.3 million. The wooden chest, which was being used as a TV stand and drinks cabinet, was a Japanese antique worth millions.

When a French engineer passed away, his family decided to put his items on auction. It turned out that a 5-feet wooden chest the engineer bought for only 130 dollars in 1970 at a private sale and used as a TV stand, was actually worth millions. At the auction, the Japanese antique chest was bought by the Rijksmuseum of Amsterdam for around 8 million dollars.

The French engineer’s acquisition of the chest began when a Polish doctor, who was oblivious of the wooden chest’s real value, sold the antique to the engineer for only 130 dollars in London in 1970. The chest, crafted from cedar wood and intricately designed with gold lacquer, was made by Kaomi Nagashige, a master artisan from Kyoto in 1640. “The French engineer, thinking the chest to be of little value, used it as a TV stand.” said Menno Fitski, curator of the Rijksmuseum. “He also kept his drinks collection inside it,” he added. The container, made of cedar wood and gold lacquer, was identified as a lost Japanese chest dating back to 1640.

Fitski says this has to be one of the bargains of the century. Even the Victoria and Albert Museum in London has been searching for the 300-year old chest, believed to be one of only ten existing in the world, since 1941. “The thing to note about this chest is that it is the best of the best. It was the best when it was made and the same still applies today.” said Fitski. The wooden chest is said to have been made on commission for the Dutch East India Company.


Page 6 of 6

Latest Digital Issue

















Digital Back Issues

Buy Digital back issues for $1