Mazarin Chest

In 1980’s, the Victoria & Albert Museum published an ad on Country Life magazine trying to find a missing Japanese lacquer chest, part of a group of four that once belonged to, among others, the Cardinal Mazarin and William Beckford. It was not successful then, but the famous chest re-surfaced recently in the Loire Valley and was sold yesterday for a staggering 7.3 million euros to the Rijksmuseum, smashing their absurdly low estimate of 200,000 euros.

The V&A has a website dedicated to this group – as it has one of them in their collections – and the auctioneers made a very funny video with the unveiling of the chest. Entire provenance here.

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