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Rijksmuseum's Aymeric Rouillac with the chest
A lacquer chest bought for £100 and unwittingly used as a TV stand and drinks cabinet has sold for £6.3million after it was revealed as a rare Japanese antique. The 5ft cedar chest was deemed worthless by its late owner, who parted with the meagre sum in 1970 after using it as a television stand and drinks cabinet. But experts were left stunned when it surfaced 53 years later during a house clearance and was identified as a highly sought-after Japanese chest dating back to 1640. The gold lacquered chest, made in Kyoto by master crasftsman Kaomi Nagashige on commission for the Dutch East India Company, was highly sought after and London's Victoria and Albert Museum had been searching worldwide for it since 1941 when its sale was last recorded. But it was eventually snapped up at auction by Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum.