By Rahul Sharma
Horsepower takes on a very literal meaning at the forthcoming sale in Surrey, UK, by specialist classic vehicle auctioneers, Historics at Brooklands, on Saturday 24 November, when an extremely rare Indian artifact – a magnificent horse-drawn state carriage owned by the Maharaja of Mysore in southern India, comes to auction.
The horse-drawn carriage was used to transport King Edward during his visits to India who was a great friend of the Maharajah of Mysore.
The coach, which dates back to 1825 and is believed to be of British origin, was used for engagements by the Maharaja to transport European royalty – including His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales.
Given the elegant design and sumptuous detailing, the coach can appropriately be described as a work of art, as indeed can be seen in a wall painting of it at the Mysore Palace Museum in the state of Kamataka, some 90 miles from Bangalore.
The imposing carriage features an ornately finished cruciform body with a vaulted, domed roof, situated atop double elliptic springs and iron-bound artillery patterned wheels.
The base color is olive green embellished with delicate meander boarders, floral and heraldic motifs and the family coat of arms. Most of the sixteen windows offer drop-down, decorated panels and shutters for privacy. The interior is upholstered in beige damask and the roof has decorative paintwork, carved border moldings and finials.
The exterior houses two seats that would have been used for servants and courtiers.
The coach – one of a significant number of antiques offered by the Maharaja in 1974 – was successfully auctioned that year in Australia, and later exhibited at the Fine Art and Antiques Fair in London in 1991.
Acquired by the UK vendor some two years ago, the coach has enjoyed some light restoration work, and is now offered by Historics at an estimated auction value of £70,000-£100,000 (about US $112,00 to $160,000, representing an extraordinary opportunity to purchase an extremely rare Indian artifact, one for the private collector or as a museum centerpiece for all to enjoy.
A news item on this forthcoming auction appeared in the Business Standard. Click on link below: