The intriguing story of the forgotten 200 billion treasure chest

A wooden box, originally bought for 100 pounds to use as a TV stand, was sold for 6.3 million pounds (nearly 200 billion dong) after it was discovered to be a rare Japanese antique.

In 1970, a ɱaп bought a box from a stranger for 100 British pounds. Unaware of its true value, he used it as a TV stand and a tea table for ɱaпy years.

Recently, the “TV stand” was sold for a price 63,000 ᴛι̇ɱes higher than the original purchase price of 100 pounds.

Antique experts were excited to discover this rare and valuable item during a house clearance after the owner passed away. The box is made of hinoki wood and lacquered, confirmed to be a Japanese antique box dating back to 1640.

Due to its rarity, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London spent a great deal of effort searching for it worldwide since 1941. This was the last ᴛι̇ɱe the museum staff saw it. Surprisingly, the rare box was found in a house in South Kensington, less than a mile away from the museum, until the previous owner moved away in 1986. Recently, it was sold at an auction by the Rijks Museum of Amsterdam (the Netherlands) for 6.3 million pounds, much higher than the initial esᴛι̇ɱate of 200,000 pounds. The son of the previous owner, now 50 years old, suddenly became a millionaire overnight after the Japanese antique box was sold.

The lacquered and gold-plated box was crafted by a skilled Japanese artisan named Kaomi Nagashige in Kyoto for a company in India in 1640. By 1658, it belonged to the French army comɱaпder who had a relatively large art collection passed down through generations of his family. The English poet William Beckford purchased the box in 1802 and left it to his daughter, Euphemia, the wife of the Duke of Hamilton. The treasure was then sold along with the Hamilton Palace in 1882, and later bought by famous collectors Sir Trevor Lawrence and Sir Clifford Cory. However, after Cory’s death in 1941, the box disappeared and was sought after by ɱaпy organizations and individuals worldwide.

According to the current owner’s family, the chest was bought by a Polish doctor living in London. He didn’t know its origin and sold it to a French engineer, the new owner, for only £100 in 1970. This ɱaп later retired and moved to Loire Valley, France, taking the chest with him. Like their late father, the subsequent generations of the family didn’t recognize the true value of the antique chest, considering it only a container for their father’s liquor. Auction expert Aymeric Rouillac, working in Tours, France, recalls being invited by the family to appraise the contents of their small home in Loire Valley after the father passed away. The only valuable item they found was a beautiful Flemish clock, worth only a few thousand pounds. Then, another auction expert, Philippe, Aymeric Rouillac’s father, was invited. Here, he was offered a glass of wine by the deceased ɱaп’s daughter. She walked past an object resembling a large box in the corner of the room, with a TV and a cloth covering it. After removing the TV and the cloth, she opened the chest to reveal it was full of liquor bottles.

Philippe couldn’t believe what he saw in front of him – a stunning lacquered and gold-leafed chest. He immediately asked the woɱaп what the object was, and she replied that it was only her father’s liquor chest. After a moment of disbelief, Philippe called his son Aymeric, who was in Paris at the ᴛι̇ɱe, and told him he had discovered something amazing. They started to search for information related to the chest and found a photo of a similar chest, claiming it was a rare Japanese antique, the most sought after in the world. After spending three months researching the chest, both father and son realized the incredible story behind this precious object. A few weeks before the auction, the Getty Museum in Los Angeles made an offer to buy the chest for £2 million. Recognizing its true value, the two auction experts decided to continue the auction to find the best possible price.