Valuable chair belonged to the 'original' Siamese twins

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This Valuable Chair Belonged to the Original Siamese Twins


On Monday's "Antiques Roadshow," a Charleston woman brought in a chair from two brothers who were so close, they were inseparable. Literally.

"This chair belonged to my great-grandfather Chang Bunker and his twin, conjoined twin, Eng," the owner told the appraisers on "Antiques Roadshow."

The brothers were born in 1811, sharing cartilage at the sternum with two fused but separately functioning livers. As a result, they had to share pretty much everything else, including furniture. At the age of 18, they left their home in Siam, now known as Thailand, and toured the world to show off their rare condition. Their immense popularity gave rise to the term "Siamese Twins."

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Siamese twins' chair on 'Antiques Roadshow'
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Valuable chair belonged to the 'original' Siamese twins
circa 1865: The most famous Siamese twins, Chang and Eng Bunker (1811 - 1874), after whom the rare condition is named. Born in Siam (modern Thailand), they married two sisters and had nine children each, eventually dying on the same day. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Photo credit: PBS
Photo credit: PBS
circa 1865: The most famous Siamese twins, Chang and Eng Bunker (1811 - 1874), after whom the rare condition is named. Born in Siam (modern Thailand), they married two sisters and had nine children each, eventually dying on the same day. (Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)
Photo credit: PBS
The Ringling Circus Museum in Sarasota, Florida, 1986. Exhibited are sideshow advertisements for midget performer General Tom Thumb, original Siamese twins Chang and Eng Bunker and 'fat lady' Alice from Dallas, aka Alice Julian. (Photo by Alfred Gescheidt/Getty Images)
circa 1870: The most famous of Siamese twins, Chang and Eng Bunker (1811 - 1874), after whom the rare condition is named. Born in Siam (modern Thailand), they married two sisters and had nine children each, eventually dying on the same day. (Photo by London Stereoscopic Company/Getty Images)
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After touring, they settled in North Carolina and married sisters Adelaide and Sarah Yates. Chang had 11 children with Adelaide, and Eng had ten with Sarah. However, the couples didn't live together, so the twins would switch houses every three days. Separate houses meant separate furniture. Eng had his own double wide chair, but it wasn't nearly as well preserved as his brother's.

The chair commanded quite a pretty penny, but any wealthy conjoined twin enthusiasts shouldn't get too excited about buying it. "The value is probably right in the range of $10,000 to $12,000," the appraiser said.

"Well that's interesting to know, but it will never be for sale," the owner replied. Not that it matters, but since the episode originally aired in 2000, the unique furniture grew in value by more than $3,000.
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