1926 Rolls-Royce Phantom to highlight sale at Bonhams

A 1926 Rolls-Royce Phantom I with a spectacular baroque interior is up for auction at Bonhams this December.

The car was commissioned by Woolworths executive Clarence Gasque as a present for his wife, Maude.  

Rolls Royce baroque
The Rolls-Royce took around 10 months to build

It features coachwork by Brougham De Ville. The interior was designed by Wolverhampton maker Charles Clark, which at the time was headed by a JH Barnett.

The company was briefed to create something with a French design.

Barnett decided to base the look of the interior on a sedan chair belonging to Marie Antoinette that he saw on a visit to the V&A Museum in London.

The car took 10 months to build and cost £6,500 ($7,999), around £368,500 ($453,500) today.

The ceilings are painted with scenes of cherubs, while the seats are adorned with tapestries produced in France at enormous expense.

An elaborate drinks cabinet and an ormolu clock are also included.

Rob Hubbard, Bonhams' senior car specialist, told the Telegraph: "It is probably the most expensive Rolls-Royce ever made…

"Inside, the rear of the car is a work of art and a piece of history. It is like stepping inside a very fine Georgian manor house…

"The value is a little unknown. It was sold ten years ago and was rumoured to have made a million. It was also sold for around £1 million in 1986 so it has always been a highly prized car."

It's valued at £700,000 ($850,000) ahead of the December 4 Bond Street, London auction, an estimate it could easily exceed.

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