You could buy a luxurious flat in central Delhi for it — or you could throw a really large dinner party. A 1400-piece dinner set once owned by Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala has been auctioned in London for the royal sum of £1.9 million (Rs. 17 crore).
Commissioned by the Maharaja for a visit to Patiala by Prince Edward, later King Edward VIII, in 1922, the 500-kg set easily outstripped its guide price of £1-1.5 million at the Christie’s auction on Thursday.
It set a new world auction record for an English dinner service, and Christie’s said it was bought in the room by a private collector who did not wish to be identified.
The extensive George V silver-gilt dinner-service was ordered from London and has been used only once — for the magnificent banquet for Prince Edward on 24 February, 1922.
Each piece of the service has a scroll and foliage border above cast and chased panels of animals, separated by cast daggers and variously engraved or cast with coat-of-arms, crown and initials.
The Maharaja’s wealth and status was such that he was the first man in India to own an aircraft, for which the Patiala Aviation Club was founded, Christie’s said in a statement.
The Maharaja was also an avid and early motorcar enthusiast, and a legend has it that he would travel in a motorcade of 20 Rolls Royces.