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The Gold State Coach

The Gold State Coach, one of the most splendid artifacts belonging to the Royal household.

Quite stunning as the sun catches its beautiful gilding.

    • It has been used at the coronation of every monarch since George IV.
    • It is now 250 years old, this and its great weight, it weighs in at four tons, limits its use.

The Gold State Coach is an enclosed, eight horse-drawn carriage used by the Royal family since 1768.

Gold State Coach 1768

    • The coach is 24 feet long and twelve feet high. It is gilded and features painted panels by Giovanni Ciprianni and rich gilded sculpture includes three cherubs  on the roof, they hold the crown and regalia and represent England, Ireland and Scotland and four tritons, one at each corner, representing Britain’s imperial power.
    •  Gilded dolphins hold in place the intricately carved bar by which the coach is drawn.
    • The body of the coach is slung by braces covered with leather and decorated with gilt buckles.
    • The interior is lined with velvet and satin.
    • The Gold State Coach is pulled by a team of eight horses wearing the Red Morocco harness.

So who built this magnificent coach? A number of craftsmen were involved in this project by which a young King George IV set such store.

    • It was built in the Great Queen Street workshops of Samuel Butler in 1762 Samuel Butler was Master of The Worshipful Company of Coach Makers in 1768, who was paid the  sum of £1,673 15s
    • Sculptor Joseph Wilton, third keeper of the Royal Academy, was paid the most, £2,500 The gilder was paid £933 14s
    • The next named on the 1762 list for payment, was young Florentine artist Giovanni Battista Cipriani, who received £315 for his eight side panels with allegorical scenes reflecting Britain’s greatness.

It is not thought to give the most comfortable ride but as an object of sheer beauty and functionality it has to be one of the most splendid in the whole world.

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