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Carriage commissioned by King William IV sold at auction

A 19th-century red wheel carriage commissioned by King William IV during the final years of his reign was sold at an auction for nearly a quarter of a million pounds.


The Royal British Mews Landau dates back to 1835, when it belonged to the Royal Mews, and was used by King William IV for long journeys. The carriage has deep claret body panels, which bear the royal crest and English pattern iron-shod. In addition to transporting The King, it must also have been used by representatives of the royal household as they travelled to Britain.

King William IV was the third son of King George III. He succeeded his brother, King George IV, in 1830, but ruled for only seven years before he died, leaving the throne to his niece, who ruled as Queen Victoria. King William was a keen sail and served in the Royal Navy in his youth. He commissioned the Royal Landau just two years before his death in 1837.

The Landau has recently been restored and was put18th century up for auction by Bonhams, a renowned British auction house. It was purchased by a North East Asian buyer online, for £247,900.

The Bonhams Carriage Collection auction is the first of its kind, with items from a sizable single-owner collection of Victorian carriages and coaches going under the hammer. The auction managed to raise £1.1 million, with King William’s Landau bringing in the largest amount.

The Carriage Collection sale included an 18th-century sled that fetched £31,050. Other lots included coaches from the champagne houses Veuve Clicquot and Moët & Chandon that sold for £34,500 and £26,450 respectively.

A Park Drag with Coachwork by Holland & Holland from the late 19th century, which went for £79,900

Ron Hubbard, Bonhams’ Motoring Specialist, and the auctioneer of the sale, spoke about the event, saying : “Utilizing our international client base and skilled team of specialists, we were able to achieve some great results. The first auction of its kind for Bonhams, it attracted attention from clients all across the globe, with bids coming in from Australia, Mexico, the US, Europe and the Far East – we’re delighted with the results.”

Photo credit: Courtesy of Bonhams

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