Barely four months after Charles III was crowned, auction house Christie’s announced this week that it will offer six pairs of the oak chairs in an online auction. Additional Coronation chairs will be offered via private treaty after the auction closes on November 3.
The chairs made for Elizabeth II’s Coronation in 1953 are now highly collectable, as are those from King Charles’ own investiture as Prince of Wales in 1969.
The chairs at the upcoming Christie’s sale are pieces from the set of 100 made for Charles III’s Coronation using sustainably-sourced British oak. Designed by Rugby-based cabinetmaker NEJ Stevenson, many of the frames were made by six young graduates from The Snowdon School of Furniture, while the upholstery was completed by the Royal Household Upholstery team in their workshops at Frogmore.
The design of these chairs has remained largely unchanged since the 1902 Coronation of Edward VII and the frames retain their original Arts and Crafts style. The upholstery used for each event however has shifted over time from the leather used for the 1911 Coronation of George V to the velvet for the Coronations of George VI and Elizabeth II.
The current chairs, featuring the Royal Cypher set against royal blue velvet, were specially commissioned by King Charles and Queen Camilla and were used for seating by members of the Royal Family and dignitaries during the service at Westminster Abbey on May 6.
The sale of these chairs at Christie’s will raise funds for four charities chosen by the King and Queen. Proceeds will be divided equally between Emmaus UK, SafeLives, The Prince’s Trust and The Prince’s Foundation.
The chairs will feature in Christie’s auction titled The Collector which is run out of three salerooms: London, New York and Paris. It opens for viewing online on October 13.
The two pairs of chairs being offered in the London section of the sale are estimated at £2000-4000 each, the two pairs in New York are pitched at $3000-5000, and the two pairs in Paris will be offered at €2000-4000.
For more on Coronation furniture, see our special feature on this topic from earlier this year.