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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 December 2007, 19:28 GMT
Restaurant cabinet sells for 1m
The cabinet
The base was found outside the restaurant's toilets
A 17th Century cabinet has been sold for more than 1m after its missing stand was discovered in a pizza restaurant in North Yorkshire.

The Roman baroque furniture was snapped up by a European private collector for 1,084,500 at Sotheby's on Tuesday.

The carved wooden base was recently discovered in the York branch of Ask and reunited with its intricately decorated top half.

It is believed the furniture was separated soon after World War II.

The cabinet features a picture of the Pope blessing the crowd in Rome.

The decorative carving of the stand features naked youths linked by garlands that kneel to support the weight of the cabinet.

20-year search

It had been feared that the giltwood stand had been lost forever - but it was found in the restaurant by the head of furniture at Sotheby's, Mario Tavella.

Mr Tavella had been looking for the console for 20 years when he received a photograph of the stand earlier this year.

He realised that the table was almost identical to two other pieces housed in Denmark thought to have been given as gifts by Pope Clement IX.

The stand was sold by the York Conservation Trust, which owns the Assembly Rooms building rented by Ask pizzeria since 2002. The trust will share the proceeds from the sale with a private couple who owned the cabinet.

The cabinet, which had a guide price of 700,000 to 1m, was part of the London auction house's sale of important Italian and Continental furniture.

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