Bonhams auctions Maharajah's George V coronation party Rolls-Royce

Bonhams is offering two finely restored Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts, both formerly in the famed collection of Richard Solove of Ohio, US, at its annual Collectors Motor Cars and Automobilia auction.

The sale will be held at the Goodwood Revival Meeting on September 16.

The first is a magnificent Maharajah's Ceremonial Car from 1911 and is estimated to bring £300,000-400,000. 

Maharaja, Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV (1884-1940), was one of the most celebrated rulers of the Indian states and also one of the world's wealthiest men - he died with a personal fortune estimated at $400 million.

Of all the buyers of the model, the Indian princes were among the most numerous in their acquisitions of Silver Ghosts.  They prized the quality of the Rolls-Royce and its ability to withstand the difficult road conditions in their country.

This example was ordered for the Delhi Durbar celebration of the Coronation of King George V and Queen Mary in December 1911. 

The Maharaja's Rolls-Royce, built to withstand India's difficult road conditions

The event included spectacular displays of Indian pageantry, and many cars were purchased to provide transport for the honoured guests and the rulers themselves.

This Silver Ghost was emblazoned with the coat of arms of the Maharaja of Mysore, to whom it passed after the Delhi Durbar.

One of only four surviving examples

The second Silver Ghost offered for auction by Bonhams has been attributed as a 1908 example, which makes it one of only four surviving examples from that year's production.

This car was restored in the 1990s by an Irish enthusiast and wears magnificent open touring coachwork with three rows of seats, built by noted French coachbuilder Labourdette. 

It was used by the Works at Brooklands as a test vehicle in advance of the International Touring Car Trial and has a pre-sale estimate of £325,000-425,000.


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