A team of specialists working at the Australian auction house Mossgreen have discovered a rare Ming Dynasty banknote hidden within a Chinese wooden sculpture. The discovery happened unexpectedly as they were cataloguing the enormous ‘Raphy Star Collection of Important Asian Art’ for an upcoming auction.
An Unexpected but Delightful Moment
Hidden in an empty space within a large wooden Luohan figure, the crumpled banknote provided the experts with a lot of information about the actual date of the sculpture. Ecns.cn reports that it is estimated the figure is from around the 13th or 14th century. Ray Tregaskis, head of Asian art at Mossgreen described the feelings and excitement he felt while discovering this valuable banknote, “It was a thrilling moment,” he said, “While it was not unusual for consecration items such as semi-precious stones or scrolls to be left within the base or on the back of a sculpture, the discovery of this rare Ming Dynasty banknote is an exciting one and, importantly, it verifies the date of the sculpture.”
The Ming Dynasty's “Yi Guan” banknote that was found inside the wooden Luohan sculpture. (Mossgreen Auctions)
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