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Summary of Children's Carriage
A charming Children’s Carriage believed to be of Dutch origin. It is of a fairly simple construction but its decoration of painted panels and carved garlands of fruit and flowers make it something special. Built in the later part of the 19th century.
Height: 2ft7 ½”
Length: 4ft 11”
Width: 2ft 7 ½”
The shape of the body resembles a cradle with the side panels being higher towards the back then sloping in a gentle curve down towards the front. A board is fitted across the body on the inside towards the front. It appears too far forward to be a seat and most likely served as a way to keep a small child in the carriage. There is no panel at the front of the carriage and it appears never to have had one. At the back is a panel that is slightly narrower at the base and shaped to a simple design. Along the top of each side panel is a strip wood carved with fruit and flowers. The nearside strip is detached and the offside is missing in part.
The small panel at the front of the carriage on the nearside has a painted scene of three men in a inn. The colours are muted. In the main panel is a Dutch landscape, quite roughly painted, with a cottage on the left and a view of a church steeple and lake. To the right of the composition is a tall wooden fence and in front of this a scene of a family seated down to a meal. The frame around the panel is panted black with delicate pink flowers.
On the offside is another scene of men in an inn on the front panel. The main panel is rather naively painted but quite charming in its subject matter. It is a scene by a river with a town/city scape behind. In the foreground people go about their daily business with lots of wheelbarrows! To the right is a black and white dog having a good sniff of a lobster pot.
On the back panel is a pastoral scene of a milkmaid passing through a gate with a yoke on her shoulders, two cows, one standing and one laying down, and a goat.
The carriage body is mounted directly on to the axles with no springing. At the front is the remains of a tiller, most of which has broken off and is now missing. The wheels have 8 spokes at the front and back and thin iron tyres.
There are no inscriptions on this carriage.
The carved strips om the body panels have signs of having had woodworm. One piece has broken off completely. The tiller is missing. Otherwise the little carriage is in fair condition with the paintwork appearing sound.
This Children's Carriage is in the care of the Tyrwhitt-Drake Carriage Museum
Maidstone Museum and Art Gallery
St Faith's Street,
Maidstone Museum and Bentlif Art Gallery/Rob Lovell