A CHINESE box and cover, discovered in a box of unpacked items which sat under a bed for years, is estimated to sell for thousands of pounds at auction.

The heart-shaped box was found by Charterhouse experts after the owner embarked on a lockdown clearout.

“The owner moved home several years ago and during the Coronavirus lockdown finally unpacked the last few remaining boxes,” said Richard Bromell, from Charterhouse.

“There was silver and other small antiques which lay hidden underneath the bed gathering dust.

"However, for me it was the Chinese red box which stood out like a sore thumb heads and shoulders above all the other items.”

The box and cover are estimated to sell for between £2,000 and 4,000 in the Charterhouse specialist auction of Asian Art in their two-day auction, on November 5 and 6.

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Made of red cinnabar lacquer, it has survived travelling thousands of miles, numerous house moves and two World Wars in pretty good condition with a just few chips.

Lacquer has been used in China for at least 3,000 years. The technique of carving into very thick coatings appears to have been developed in the 12th century. It is extremely time-consuming to produce, and has always been a luxury product, essentially restricted to China although imitated in Japanese lacquer in somewhat different styles.

Today, the demand for Chinese red lacquer is high not only from China, but also collectors from Europe and America.

With all Charterhouse auctions being online, the auctioneers are expecting the bidding to be fast and furious from around the world for all the lots.

Charterhouse are now accepting further entries for their autumn programme of auctions including classic and vintage motorcycles on October 28, Asian Art, silver, jewellery and watches on November 5 and 6, with classic and vintage cars on November 11.

For more information, or to make a Covid-19 safe home visit, contact Richard Bromell and the team at Charterhouse, The Long Street Salerooms, Sherborne 01935 812277, or email images to Richard via rb@charterhouse-auction.com.

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