Pop star Cher's Birmingham-made brass bed has sold for more three times its estimate after it fetched a staggering $84,000 at auction in America
Cher, now 61, bought the Gothic Revival bed - made in or about 1865 by the Birmingham-based John Hardman and Company - at an auction at Bonhams in London in 1994.
Its ornate design is thought to be by Edward Welby Pugin, whose father, Augustus Welby Pugin, designed the decorations and sculpture at the Houses of Parliament in London and who was a leader of the mid nineteenth century Gothic Revival movement.
The bed was one of 784 mostly-antique treasures from her multi-million pound marbled mansion at Malibu in California sold off at a two day auction, organised by Sotheby's with Julien's Auctions, at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.
The whole collection sold for $3,536,940, more than three times the pre-sale estimate of $1million.
A "nice percentage" of the proceeds will benefit the Cher Charitable Foundation, the 60-year-old singer-actress said.
Cher's Birmingham bed was expected to sell for between $20-30,000 but the bidding was so enthusiastic that those cautious pre-sale estimates were swiftly overtaken and it was eventually sold to a mystery bidder for $84,000.
The bed is known as The Scarisbrick Bed as it was originally made for a Victorian heiress named Lady Ann Scarisbrick.
In the auction catalogue, Cher said: "I collected each one of these treasures myself over more years than I care to remember and loved every minute of it.
"I've strolled majestically through snobbish salons of ancient artifacts from New York to Prague, scrounged around musty old antique shops from London to Moscow, gotten up at the crack of dawn to crawl through flea markets from Pasadena to Florence, completely immersed myself in gazillions of auction house catalogues with a dictionary in one hand and a candy bar in the other."
The Birmingham company, John Hardman & Co Ltd, was founded in 1838 when John Hardman left the family button-making business to produce metalwork.