AN historic throne has begun its journey from Worcester to the Palace of Versailles in France where it will appear in a prestigious new exhibition.

The impressive 18th century throne, which is normally on permanent display at the Guildhall, was made in 1783 by Toussaint Foliot for the French Embassy in London.

It is one of 50 thrones from all over the world that are to be included in the Palace of Versailles’ Thrones in Majesty exhibition.

Guildhall manager Richard Wickham said: “It is fantastic that Worcester can boast artefacts of this calibre.

"We are delighted that this beautiful throne can now be appreciated by an international audience visiting the Palace of Versailles.”

Little is known about the throne’s use between 1783 and 1870, when Lea Smith donated it to the Corporation of Worcester.

As part of the agreement, the palace is paying for the conservation of the throne’s gilded surface by expert conservator Claire Daly, who is based in Birmingham.

The throne is on loan to the Palace of Versailles until the end of June.

On its return to Worcester, it will again be placed on permanent display in the Guildhall.