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Equestrian statue of Louis XIV (1638–1715), c.1696

In the wake of the French Revolution, George IV cast himself as guardian of the memory of the ancien régime. He acquired this version of a monumental sculpture of Louis XIV that once stood in central Paris, but had been destroyed by the revolutionaries. The prince’s agent considered even this reduced version of the original too large for Carlton House but George was determined to buy it and placed it in his Armoury. When the sculpture was later moved to Windsor Castle, he commissioned this new pedestal, its gilt-bronze plaques celebrating Louis XIV’s military triumphs.

Sculpture purchased in 1817; pedestal commissioned in 1826