A Midlands auction house has had Chinese buyers leap at the chance to purchase an antique plate after it was discovered that replicas exist in two of China’s most famous museums.
Hanson's Auction House now expects the antique could smash £150,000 at auction this Friday.
The plate has had an interesting history so far which began when Scotsman Mr Alexander Robertson emigrated to America and made his fortune more than a century ago.
In 1911 he bought the ancient plate and when he died all his belongings were shipped back to the UK and divided among his relatives.
This plate was one of the items passed down through the generations and was left to some of his descendants, now living in South Derbyshire, two years ago and has been kept boxed up in a kitchen cupboard. Until now.
A few weeks after it was consigned to auction, Chinese experts revealed that replicas of the plate exist in the National Museum of China and Guandong Museum in China.
In recent years there has been a movement by the Chinese who are passionate about buying back their antiques, many have flocked to the Derbyshire auction house in recent weeks to view the plate privately.
The rare plate, which carries the reign mark for Emperor Yongzheng and dates back to 1723-1735, goes under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers in Derbyshire, on Friday.
Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: