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200-year-old Chinese robe fetches £15,000

A 200-year-old Chinese imperial robe has sold for six times its initial valuation at auction.

The garment, known as an imperial kesi ground formal robe, dates from the Qing dynasty of the 19th century.

It was found in a wardrobe at a house in the Highlands.

It went under the hammer at Edinburgh-based auction house Lyon and Turnbull, valued at £2500. But it sold for £15,000.

The original owner, who hasn't been named, said "We couldn't believe it went so far over the estimate, especially as I was just about to send it off to the charity shop."

The robe has a woven gold dragon on a decorative background. The dragon symbolised the emperor, who gave permission to wear the robe.

Lyon and Turnbull said it is unclear how the robe came to be at the house in Scotland, although the country does have a history of travel to the Far East by seafarers, soldiers, colonial administrators and merchant bankers. It is understood the robe will now be returning to China.

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