A LITTLE wooden table sold at auction for £ 278,080 amid speculation that it was made for the Imperial Palace in China in the 19th century.
Priced at as low as £ 1,000, the hardwood altar table sparked a bidding war this week at Bellmans Auctioneers in Wisborough Green, near Billingshurst.
The successful offer – more than 200 times the expected sale price – will see the rare antiquity returned to the Chinese mainland.
The table, which has been kept as a family heirloom for years, is said to be made from genuine Huanghuali wood – a highly coveted material first popular in the late Ming Dynasty.
Philip Belcher, Managing Director of Bellmans Auctioneers, said: “Made from Huanghuali wood, the table was likely an Imperial commission and, as such, a desirable piece that Chinese collectors would covet.
“Tables of a similar style were often produced for the export market, but every now and then a piece in this particularly rare wood came out of China and these pieces are of course much more valuable.
“The seller is absolutely delighted with the rather unexpected result.
“The table was a heirloom, but it had never been pointed out to him that it could be of particular importance.”
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This notice was published: 2021-08-08 12:08:56