AUCTION house worker Sara Pierdominici casts a glance over an intricate Chinese Imperial dynasty robe.

The artefact once belonged to an Empress and ended up in the collection of Glasgow shipping magnate Leonard Gow. Now the costume is to go to an auction in June being held by Lyon & Turnbull in Edinburgh. Mr Gow's collection of Chinese porcelain was one of the most important in Britain in the early 20th century. Experts have been stunned at the robe's quality as it is worked with gold and silver embroidery on a gold gauze ground, with waves at the hem and nine dragons on the front, back and shoulder panels. There are also 12 symbols indicating it was intended only for the emperor's use. In December, an Imperial robe fetched £15,000 at auction.

Picture: Stewart Attwood

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