Royal coach sells for £250,000 during £1m carriage sale

  • Auction house Bonhams’ first carriage sale has recorded sales of more than £1m.

    An ex-Royal British Mews Landau (pictured) coach was the centrepiece of the sale on 7 March, and was bought by a north east Asian bidder for £247,900.

    The coach commissioned by King William IV in 1835 was among a rare collection of carriages collected over the past 30 years by a European industrialist.

    The Landau was sold by the Royal Mews in the early part of the 20th-century, and was eventually acquired by the famous American collector James Coson.

    When the Coson collection was sold its new owners sent the carriage to the restorers Stolk of Holland.

    “The Landau is a wonderful piece of early Royal transport and the restoration work carried out to return it to its former glory is unlikely to be ever repeated again,” said a Bonhams spokesman.

    The sale’s 150 lots attracted bidders from Australia, Mexico, the US, Europe and Far East.

    “We had a packed auction room, 100% sold, international bidding, and many items soaring far above estimate to achieve over £1.1m for the sale,” said Rob Hubbard, Bonhams’ auctioneer.

    An 18th-century sled fetched £31,050 — well above its £7,000-£10,000 estimate.

    Other highlights included two 19-century coaches from rival champagne houses Veuve Clicquot and Moet & Chandon which achieved £34,500 and £26,450 respectively.

    A Park Drag made in 1880 with coachwork by Holland & Holland sold for £79,900 and a child’s horse drawn pull along carriage sold for £750 (estimate £250-350).

    Among the memorabilia the candle coach lamps sold well with one lot going for £4,125.

    Many pieces of art also went for well above their estimate. A William Carel Nakken painting of a carriage with driver in a Dutch landscape circa 1865 sold for £2,750 nearly double its estimate of £1,000-1,500. Another lot of four seasonal prints went for £1,062.5 (estimate £200-300).

    In the harness section three Dutch heavy horse harness sold for £400 (estimate £250-300); an incomplete team harness with silver fittings sold for £1,500 (estimate £200-300) and another lot of harness with silver fittings sold for £625 (estimate £200-300).

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