A painted chest bought for only $150, used for decades as a TV stand and bar, turned out to be a $9.5 million lost Japanese treasure.
The 370-year-old cedar wood and gold lacquered chest was spotted by an auctioneer invited to appraise a recently deceased man’s home, and his daughter offered him a drink of sherry from “Daddy’s bar.”
The woman’s father bought the five-foot chest in the 1970s and died never knowing its true value.
The 1640 piece once belonged to several prominent historical figures, including France’s chief minister Cardinal Jules Mazarin and British poet William Beckford. But after its most recent notable owner, Welsh colliery owner, Sir Clifford Cory, passed away in 1941, it disappeared and was considered to be lost, leaving London’s Victoria and Albert Museum searching for it ever since.
Now that it has been found, the wooden chest was auctioned on June 9 to Amsterdam’s National Museum, the Rijksmuseum, for a whopping $9.5 million.