A selection of Georgian Coaches

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    You can find many excellent carriage prints for sale at Prints George Where all the prints in this series are in scale to each other and are printed on natural colored 11" x 17" stock.

    Four Wheelers

    Phaeton In 1755 the first 'high flier' was made. Genarlly four horses were needed to drive one but some used only two. Phaetons were a fashionable vehicle of choice in the Regency, they had large rear wheels, and a bench over the front wheels. I have heard that they sometimes had a hood that could be raised or lowered but I can't confirm if this was so during the Regency time.

    Pictured below is a large Crane neck phaeton from 1796.

    Barouche - these were hung so near to the ground you don't even need a box to climb up in to it - the coachman sat up in front and much higher than the passengers.

    Landau - these vehicles first came into fashion around the 1790's. They were an open carriage capable of seating four people. As a general rule a coach was just a landau with an immovable top

    The image below is a landau from 1796,

    This is the specification for a mail coach from 1786 - the similarities in design with the landau are evident.

    Landaulet - an offspring of the Landau but with seating only for two

    Two Wheelers

    Curricle - this was drawn by a pair of horses but different to the preciously mentioned coaches it only had two wheels. The whole was a very light - more a showy thing It was ousted by the cabriolet.

    Cabriolet - came in the 1815. This was a one horse chaise in a newer more elegant form than the curricle. It had room for two people and came with a movable hood. It was possible to close the curtains to gain privacy and also had the advantage that one of the fashionable 'Tigers' (a small boy) could be carried behind but cut off from communication. Its shape resembled a nautilus shell and there is a knee flap with a graceful curve to it - even the shafts were curved.

    This was a very showy vehicle - ornamental and most expensive of all the single horse vehicles.The advice of the day was that it needed a horse of less than 16 hands high and that the horses action could never be deemed too extravagant.

    A dog cart generally replaced the cabriolet

    Stanhope - 1815. This vehicle needed a smaller less flashy horse that the Cabriolet and the groom sat to the left of the driver.

    Tilbury - 1815 - it was highter than the Stanhope using 7 springs instead of the Stanhope's four - it was still heavier.

    The Dennet - named for Miss Dennet who was on the stage around this time 'her elegant stage dancing' this was a simple open railed chair fixed on shafts and supported by two side springs - it was one of the early forms of the dog-cart.

    Coaching life Mr Thorpe is very revealing on carriages in Jane Austen's book, "Northanger Abbey".

    He has purchased a gig which is just a month old which he describes as 'curricle hung'. He goes one to say"seat, trunk, sword case, splashing-board, lamps, silver moulding, all you see complete, the iron work as good as new, or better." The whole cost him only 50 guineas.

    We cannot take Mr Thorpe as a good judge of vehicle or horses though. There is some dispute on time and distance it took him and his travelling companion, Mr Morland, to reach Bath. While Mr Morland believes that they have travelled the 23 miles to Bath in some three and a half hours, Mr Thorpe is adamant;
    "Three and twenty!" cried Thorpe; "Five and tewnty if it is an inch. Morland remonstrated, pleaded the authority of road-books, inn-keepers, and mile stones; but his friend disregarded them all. He had a surer test of distance. "I know it must be five and twenty,' said he, 'by the time we have been doing it. It is now half after one: We drove out of the inn yard at Tetbury as the town clock struck eleven; and I defy any man in England to make my horse go less than ten miles an hour in harness. That makes exactly twenty five."

    "You have lost an hour," said Morland.

    Pictured to the below is a chair backed Gig.

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