In a year marked by the grandeur of coronation celebrations, Christie’s recently announced the auction of six pairs of exquisite Coronation Chairs.
These iconic pieces, commissioned by Their Majesties, King Charles III and Queen Camilla, held esteemed members of the Royal Family and dignitaries during the momentous Coronation ceremony.
The upcoming global auction, hosted on The Collector platform, is set to commence on October 13, 2023, with the final bids accepted until November 3, 2023. The proceeds from this auction will be devoted equally to four charitable organizations carefully chosen by Their Majesties: Emmaus UK, SafeLives, The Prince’s Trust, and The Prince’s Foundation.
Craftsmanship and Tradition
Crafted under the skilled hands of N.E.J. Stevenson, a renowned cabinetmaker from Rugby, in collaboration with The Snowdon School of Furniture, a total of one hundred Coronation Chairs were painstakingly fashioned from sustainably sourced British oak. What truly exemplifies the exceptional artistry involved is that a significant number of frames were meticulously crafted by six talented recent graduates from The Snowdon School of Furniture.
The intricate upholstery of these remarkable chairs was completed by the expert artisans of the Royal Household Upholstery team at Frogmore. This venerable tradition of crafting bespoke seats for each ceremonial occasion has a rich history dating back to the 20th century.
A Glimpse into History
The evolution of Coronation Chairs, reflecting the changing times and artistic movements, is a captivating narrative in itself. The Coronation Chairs from the 1902 Coronation of Edward VII bear the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement. In 1911, for the Coronation of George V, the chairs embraced the Edwardian style, featuring elegant leather upholstery.
In 1937, during the Coronation of George VI, the chairs showcased intricate embroidery of the Royal Cypher against sumptuous velvet. Finally, in 1953, for the Coronation of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the design paid homage to her father, King George VI, once more displaying the Royal Cypher against regal blue velvet.
The Collector: A Showcase of Elegance
The Collector, Christie’s prestigious international online platform for Decorative Arts, is where this remarkable auction unfolds. This platform, hosting auctions twice a year in London, New York, and Paris, offers a curated selection of English, European, and 19th-century furniture and works of art, along with silverware, ceramics, glass, clocks, and gold boxes spanning the 16th to the 20th century.
These auctions celebrate the enduring artistry and beauty of exceptional works of art, and within this collection, two pairs of Coronation Chairs will grace the London, New York, and Paris events, each pair estimated to fetch: London £2,000-4,000; New York $3,000-5,000; Paris €2,000-4,000.
Following the conclusion of The Collector auctions, additional Coronation Chairs will be made available through private sale, facilitated by Christie’s, to continue supporting the noble causes championed by Their Majesties. These chairs are not merely objects of historical significance but also enduring symbols of benevolence, crafted to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those in need.
The auction of these remarkable Coronation Chairs, commissioned by Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla, not only commemorates a significant moment in history but also exemplifies the enduring craftsmanship and generosity of spirit. As these chairs find new homes through The Collector and private sales, their value extends far beyond their historical significance, reaching out to make a tangible impact on the charitable organizations chosen by Their Majesties.
In supporting Emmaus UK, SafeLives, The Prince’s Trust, and The Prince’s Foundation, bidders and buyers alike become part of a noble legacy, where artistry and compassion converge. These Coronation Chairs, once graced by royalty, now offer an opportunity for all to contribute to the greater good while owning a piece of history.