This simple sedan chair, entirely covered with crimson fabric and trimmings, was among those in use during the papacy of Pope Pius XI.
In September 1962, as Pope John XXIII began to suffer the first signs of the disease that would prove fatal, the sedan chair was restored to transport the Pontiff from the Apostolic Palace to the Hall of Vestments.
Increasingly affected by the progress of stomach cancer, John XXIII suffered greatly when walking or indeed simply standing. Nonetheless, on 7 March 1963, to general astonishment, he conceded an audience to Rada Chruščёva, daughter of the President of the Soviet Union, Nikita Chruščёv. This was an important visit, in which the Pope was able to reiterate his hope for and the need to maintain peace in the world. He had also expressed this wish on 10 September 1961 when, at the height of the Cold War, he contributed to warding off a clash between the armed forces of Russia and the United States of America.