A Chinese antique has sold for a six-figure fee after being mistakenly used as a lamp by the owners for years.
The hat stand dates back to the 1800s, and was bought from a sale at a country house. The owners, from North Wales, used it for more than 50 years as a lamp, according to a Christie’s specialist, Ivy Chan.
The rare piece is thought to have been purchased from the country house sale in 1953. Intricately decorated and originating from the Daoguang period in Chinese history (1821 to 1850), the item was originally estimated to be worth around £300,000.
During the Daoguang period, clothing was an indication of a person’s status and wealth. Hats played an important role in this, and were very often displayed on an elaborate hat stand like the one recently sold at a Christie’s auction.
The hat stand is of such good quality that Chan believes the antique may have been specially made for the Emperor Daoguang. Yet another clue to the original owner’s identity is the continuous use of a dragon motif on the hat stand. Chan stated that the discovery of the item is “really special”.
It is possible that the new owner, who purchased the antique for £581,000, may use the hat stand to display some fine headwear in a bedroom, to complement fine antique bedroom furniture, or they may prefer to keep it locked away due to its high value.
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