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300-year-old chair sells for massive £14.4million

— but the buyer can’t ever sit on it

The rosewood horseshoe-back chair was designed for a travelling dignitary in China during the Ming Dynasty.

It was later kept in the London home of Hong Kong businessman Sir Joseph Hotung, who died in December aged 91. It had an estimate of up to £1.72million but a private collector paid eight times that in a Sotheby’s bidding war in central London on Saturday. Asian art specialist Henry Howard-Sneyd said: “Watching the bids fly in was a career highlight — an astonishing result.” Melica Khansari, of Sotheby’s, added: "Folding horseshoe-back armchairs are perhaps the most highly sought-after of all items of Ming furniture, and are thought to be the most striking and most highly celebrated designs created by Chinese carpenters.

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