Frames of Antique 1778 Chairs Spark Bidding War Before Being Snatched at Over $1 Million

Frames of Antique 1778 Chairs Spark Bidding War Before Being Snatched at Over $1 Million

Four antique chairs made in 1778 for French Emperor Louis XVI’s younger brother, Charles X have sold for more than £1 million – despite missing their seats, backs and upholstery.

He ordered them to furnish his famous bedchamber at his opulent Chateau de Bagatelle in Paris. His bed is exhibited at the Louvre today.

The frames sparked a bidding war when they went under the hammer with auctioneers Artcurial.

They were expected to fetch £450,000 but achieved over double the estimate, selling for £1.06m including fees.

The chairs were confiscated during the French Revolution in 1789 before being sold off four years later.

They have changed hands several times in the two centuries that followed and were consigned by a private collector who had owned them for the past 20 years.

The chairs were fashioned from gilded and patinated wood, with carvings of laurel branches and a fire mark B under a crown for the Comte d’Artois at Bagatelle.

They were crafted by master furniture maker Georges Jacobs and the sculptor Jean-Baptiste Rode.

The suite is said to illustrate the extravagant charter and taste of Charles, who had a close relationship with his step-sister, the Queen Marie Antionette.

A spokesperson for Artcurial, of Paris, said: ‘This exceptional suite was executed in 1778 by Georges Jacobs and Jean-Baptiste Rode for the celebrated bed chamber of the Comte d’Artois and future King, Charles X.

‘It is a unique suite still preserved in its original condition and one of the most daring examples of the creativity and excellence of the craftsmen at the Royal court’s service.

‘This suite is leaving France to join another collection owned by great amateurs in love with the French decorative arts, who will take attentive care of them.’

After fleeing France in 1789, Charles X lived in Italy, Belgium and Russia before settling in Britain where George III gave him a generous allowance.

He lived in Edinburgh and London with his mistress Louise de Polastron before returning to his homeland after the Bourbon restoration in 1814.

Charles X was the French King from 1824 to 1830, when he abdicated following urban riots which prompted that year’s July Revolution.

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