ROYAL MEMORABILIA/ KING GEORGE VI CORONATION CHAIR: An original George VI coronation chair, 1937

An original King George VI Coronation chair, 1937.

The chair has a limed oak frame with seat and back rest upholstered in aged green velvet, trimmed with gold braid. The backrest is embroidered with GVI cypher. The underside of the chair is stamped with makers name ‘W. Hands & Son Ltd’, ‘CORONATION’ ‘1937’ and GVI cypher

Dimensions: height 86cm, width 50cm

The Coronation, 1937

The Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth took place on 12th May 1937.

The ceremony was a stately and traditional affair – inspired by the coronation of King George V.

The 12th May was the date originally scheduled for the coronation of Edward VIII. Edward VIII had wished to have no coronation ceremony. Eventually, he was persuaded but only for a paired down service. His involvement in the event and its planning was limited.

George VI was very much involved with the arrangements for his brother’s coronation. Following the abdication crisis, it was agreed that George VI coronation would be held on the same date in May. In direct contrast to that planned for Edward VIII this new coronation would be on a large scale.

Queen Mary importantly took great interest in the design of the ceremony, including that of the furniture. She ensured it had a traditional feel in keeping with previous coronations.

The furniture for the ceremony was produced by manufacturers based in High Wycombe. High Wycombe was the centre of English chair making. Companies based in the town had produced chairs and stools for the coronation ceremonies prior to this.

These chairs were used by distinguished guests during the coronation ceremony. After the ceremony they were available for attendees to purchase, in part to help pay for the ceremony itself. Originally the fabric would have had a blue tone, but typically over time all have faded to a green.

Queen Mary herself used an identical chair during the ceremony.  This example was sold by Christies Auctioneers as part of the Collection of H.R.H. The Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon in 2006. The eventual selling price was over £38,000!!!!

The event was one of the first large outside broadcasts to be filmed for BBC Television (which was then in its infancy)

Further information

For a similar original George VI coronation chair see – Winston Churchill Collection held by the National Trust, Chartwell, Kent.

We have a number of pieces of coronation furniture in our store, see:

ROYAL MEMORABILIA/ QUEEN ELIZABETH II CORONATION STOOL: An original HM Queen Elizabeth II Coronation stool, 1953


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Condition Report: The chair is in worn “Country House” condition. There are losses to the braid, staining to the fabric and heavy wear throughout. The velvet is faded to a pale green colour, worn through in places particularly corners. Chair sits slightly uneven/ wobbly and frame shows signs of wear and knocks, some blue coloured paint type staining. The chair appears entirely original, some metal braces to underside of seat supporting legs (see images)

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