Ivory furniture given to the first British Governor-General of India, Warren Hastings, will be auctioned at Sotheby’s in London this week. The furniture was commissioned by Mani Begum, the widow of the Nawab of Murshidabad.
The auction will feature the antique pieces in ‘A Connoisseur’s Collection’, along with Chippendale furniture and art. A set of chairs expected to be sold for £150,000 to £250,000 is carved from solid ivory. The settee – which is also made from ivory – is expected to raise £100,000 to £150,000 at auction.
The settee and chairs were presented to Warren Hastings by Mani Begum as part of a gift. The furniture then became part of a collection belonging to the Earl of Lonsdale before being sold to a private collector in 1967. According to a statement from the auctioneers, the money raised from the sale will be donated to a charitable foundation.
There are other pieces from the suite, but they are currently housed in the Victoria and Albert Museum, which is in London. Furniture produced by famous designer Thomas Chippendale will also feature in the auction, while paintings from the 18th Century will be among the items listed. It is believed that a piece of art featuring a King Charles spaniel – made by celebrated British painter George Stubbs – will be the highlight of the show.
For those who are looking for items of furniture and won’t be at the London auction, reputable dealers have a selection of antique chairs in Blackburn. For collectors, it’s worth noting that auctions typically apply a buyer’s fee.
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