Antiques Roadshow guest floored after old Chinese table valued at £120,000

Antiques Roadshow viewers were left stunned when a guest brought a 160-year-old Chinese table to the show with a staggering valuation of up to £120,000.

The guest explained he bought the ornate table from an online auction website for £7,000 and had it shipped from Boston, US, a couple of years ago.

The wooden-based table is decorated in beautiful carvings of leaves and flowers around the legs and the apron. On top of it is a large marble table top.

Appearing on Sunday's BBC programme, expert Marc Allum gave his expertise on the furniture.

He said: "This piece of furniture is Chinese. Chinese through and through.

"But it looks Western, isn't it?"

Marc then suggested the table could have been a lost treasure from the Imperial Court in 1860 when the French and British armies raided the Old Summer Palace during the second Opium war.

He believed the material made is the imperial, expensive zitan – a member of the rosewood family.

He also added: "I do know there are some chairs in the Summer Palace that have a foot that looks literally identical to that.

"That's documented, we know that. So we can see the similarity there as well."

Marc confirmed that the console table was made for the Imperial Court before he moved on to give valuation.

"It's really, really difficult," he told the guest. "What I do know is that a smaller version of this, a console table came up for auction a few years ago.

"It had no platform base on it, it was missing its top and it wasn’t in brilliant condition and it made £55,000.

"What we have here is something we can't totally pin down, but it's an awful lot better than the £55,000 one."

The guest nodded and waited for Marc to reveal the potential market price.

Marc continued: "It's bigger, it's more complete. It's better quality.

"I might suggest to you that if we put it in a really good auction in somewhere like Hong Kong for instance, in a very specialised Oriental sale, that a table like this could make £80,000 to £120,000."

The guest paused and grinned, saying: "That's nice, yeah. Absolutely fantastic."

Viewers were shocked by the staggering valuation as they rushed to social media to share their opinions on the opulent table.

One wrote on Twitter: "£120,000 for the table?"

"What the f***? £80 – £120k?" another said and a third added: "Gosh, the Chinese table."

Antiques Roadshow continues next Sunday on BBC.

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