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Bow-fronted Double Brougham
Date of Production
Accession or Inventory Number
Materials usedPaint, Wood, Iron, Leather, Wool Box Cloth
Summary of Bow Fronted Brougham
A Bow Fronted Brougham with an elegant curved profile. Painted green and black with blue box cloth upholstery. Made by Saxon of Eastbourne.
The first brougham was commissioned in 1837 by Henry Peter Brougham (1778-1868) first Baron Brougham and Vaux, Whig politician, lawyer and Minister of State. He wanted “a refined and glorified street cab, which would make a convenient carriage for a gentleman”, unlike his usual form of transport, probably a town coach or chariot, both far larger and heavier. He designed a carriage that would be light and compact, needing just one horse and a coachman – ideal for use on busy streets. The body would be low for easy access and should carry two people and be “closed and intimate thus allowing the occupants to conduct a private conversation whilst travelling”. His ideas were rejected by his usual coachbuilder so he took them to another, Robinson & Cook, just round the corner. They agreed to build the vehicle and it was called the Brougham by his Lordship’s express permission. Lord Brougham’s brainchild was an instant success and, within a few years, broughams were being built in vast numbers wherever carriages of Western European style were used. They were particularly popular with professional and middle class families, and became the everyday carriages of the wealthy and the aristocracy.
Height: 6ft4 ½”
Length: 11ft 9 ¾”
Width: 5ft 3”
This Brougham has an elegant curved profile to the underside and the back and a bow front of three windows. On the upper panels, around the door frame and continuing around the bow front, the panels have brass beading which to a certain extent accentuates the shape on the rear panels. The seat riser is also elegant in its form and supports the coachman’s seat that has a single seat rail and is served with a leather skirt with brass beading. To the sloping footboard a leather dashboard is attached.
The doors are hung on concealed hinges and have nickel T bar handles. The doors are shaped at the bottom in a curve to the underside profile of the carriage. At the front on either side of the footboard is a step with an oval plate. The surface of the two steps is jagged with a diamond and oval pattern. At each door is a step with a large semi-circular plate mounted on a bracket that is attached to the underside of the carriage. The cover for this step is attached to the bottom of the door on each side.
Each door has a lowering window panel with wood frames covered in blue wool cloth. The bow front has a rectangular lowering window at the front and two fixed curved windows. A small rectangular window is in the back panel. The lamps displayed with this carriage have two tier chimneys and are surmounted by a white metal sphere. They have three glass lights of a rectangular shape with rounded corners and are made by Saxon of Eastbourne.
This Brougham has 12 and 14 spoke English pattern wheels on collinge axles with rubber shod tyres and is sprung on elliptic springs. A pair of independent shafts are with this carriage which attach to the finely built fore carriage via a bolt. By the coachman’s seat is a lever for the handbrake.
The lower body panels and the wheels are painted dark olive green. The upper body panels, under carriage, coachman’s seat and footboard are all painted black. The wheels and undercarriage have yellow lining. A family crest is on each door panel.
For the upholstery the coachman’s seat cushions and seat valance is in blue box cloth. Inside the seats, side panels, heaven and door panels are covered with the same blue box cloth, buttoned on the seats and side panels. The broadlace is in blue with a floral and leaf pattern. There is a plain blue carpet on the floor and the carriage has blue silk blinds with blue tassels. A communication speaker is at the front with a bone end. The internal furniture is of bone with the exception of the door handles that are in brass.
On both doors: Lion holding a crucifix
On the candle holders of the lamps: Saxon Eastbourne
The components of this carriage appear sound. There is some paint loss to the wheels and the beading around the edges of the doors and some crazing to the upper body panels which one would expect on a carriage of this age. The upholstery all seems to be in good condition.
This Bow Fronted Brougham is in the care of the Tyrwhitt-Drake Carriage Museum
Maidstone Museum and Art Gallery
St Faith's Street,
Maidstone Museum/Amy Bracey