A CHAIR bought for £5 at a junk shop has sold for thousands of pounds at auction.

The rare elm and wicker high back chair was designed by Koloman Moser in 1902.

More than 100 years later, a member of the public came across the piece of furniture in a junk shop in Brighton.

At auction at Sworders auction house, the chair sold for £16,250.

John Black, head of sales at Sworders, said: “We are delighted with the end price and particularly pleased to know it will be going back to Austria.

''We were not drinking in January but made an exception on Tuesday evening, it was an evening to celebrate.''

A similar Vienna Secession chair sold for $22,000 in New York in December 2019.

The Argus: Chair bought for £5 at junk sale sells for thousands at auctionChair bought for £5 at junk sale sells for thousands at auction

Prior to the auction, Sworders experts said they expected the chair to sell for between £2,000 and £3,000 at their two-day design sale.

The chair was found at an unidentified shop in Brighton earlier this year.

The vendor, who wishes to remain anonymous, previously said: “When I got the chair home, I had a closer look and thought it looked really interesting.

“I emailed some pictures to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, but no one got back to me.

“My next stop was Sworders. I emailed their design specialist John Black, and he got back to me very quickly.”

John said the scarcely seen chair was immediately of interest to him.

“My first impression was ‘how rare is that?’ The vendor had done some research, but was unsure if the attribution was correct, so I decided the best course of action would be to speak to Dr Christian Witt-Dörring, a specialist on the Vienna Secession and curator of many exhibitions,” he said.

“He confirmed the attribution and praised this example for the dignity of its original condition.”

The chair is an example of the Vienna Secession movement. Designed by Koloman Moser, a teacher at the Vienna School of Applied Arts, it is a modern reinterpretation of a traditional 18th century ladder-back chair.

The lone decorative element is a chequerboard-like grid of the webbing on the seat and the back of the chair.