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Recognised as interesting when it came into Christie’s South Kensington from an English collection on a general valuation, it turned out to be the missing throne chair of a suite ordered from Georges Jacob by the Comte d’Artois for the visit of his brother Louis XVI to the Pavillon de Bagatelle in 1784. Christie’s Paris
furniture expert Patrick Leperlier – who discovered the royal provenance for the $1.65m (£1.018m) Marie-Antoinette wall lights sold in New York in April – even came up with
documentary evidence in the form of a letter describing the chair, from its carver, Rode.

The private collector who carried off this prize was paying for the fact that, unlike most suites made for French royal palaces, this chair was made specifically for Louis XVI, and very few of these thrones survived the Revolution. In this case, the panels above the legs had been mutilated to remove the tell-tale fleurs de lys.

The chair was the fourth most expensive lot of a sale which saw the six-figure lots sell around low
estimate, but with some very strong prices lower down the top ten.