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Business News/ News / World/  Rose Hanbury's home Houghton Hall denies possessing stolen Chinese artifacts
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Rose Hanbury's home Houghton Hall denies possessing stolen Chinese artifacts

Chinese TikTok users recently targeted Houghton Hall, alleging that the historic estate harbours treasures taken during China's last imperial dynasty.

Rose Hanbury's residence of Houghton Hall is among the UK's most magnificent mansions boasting approximately 106 rooms, Premium
Rose Hanbury's residence of Houghton Hall is among the UK's most magnificent mansions boasting approximately 106 rooms,

Lady Rose Hanbury's United Kingdom estate Houghton Hall has refuted claims regarding the possession of antique valuables allegedly looted from China, as per a Hindustan Times report. The accusations arose following scrutiny towards artefacts in the Marquess and Marchioness of Cholmondeley's grand residence.

Boasting approximately 106 rooms, Houghton Hall is among the UK's most magnificent mansions, attracting numerous tourists yearly for its architectural heritage.

Social Media Accusations

Chinese TikTok users recently targeted Houghton Hall, alleging that the historic estate harbours treasures taken during China's last imperial dynasty. Images of the Grade I listed house circulated widely on social media platforms, despite assertions from the estate that no stolen belongings are within its premises.

The Marquess David Cholmondeley (63) and his wife, Rose Hanbury (40), faced criticism for allegedly possessing "pillaged loot" acquired from the Baghdadi Jewish Sassoon family, renowned as "the Rothschilds of the East."

The Sassoons amassed wealth in the 19th century through trade in opium, tea, and textiles across China and India, particularly during China's 'century of humiliation' (1839–1845). Notably, the Marquess is a descendant.

While the origins of certain objects remain uncertain, a TikTok user posted interior pictures of Houghton Hall, suggesting ties to the Sassoons' wealth accumulation through looting in late Qing China.

Response from Houghton Hall

In response, a representative for Houghton Hall clarified that the Chinese-origin items in question were acquired by the Walpole family, Houghton's original owners, during the Qing Dynasty. The spokesperson affirmed that these items were not looted but produced for export to Europe, echoing the prevalence of similar collections in country houses across Europe and America.

"The items of Chinese origin in the photographs to which you refer were purchased by the Walpole family, the original owners of Houghton, during the 18th Century, mid-Qing Dynasty, mostly through agents rather than in China directly. The items were not looted but mostly made for export to Europe. It would be hard to find a country house collection, whether private or owned by the National Trust, that does not exhibit items acquired in or from China. This is true of most European and American collections," the spokesperson told The Daily Mail.

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Published: 01 Apr 2024, 10:19 AM IST
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