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Summary of Sporting Pheaton
This is a very stylish and beautifully built carriage, a Sporting Phaeton for a lady. In recent years it has been restored sensitively retaining original features such as the patterned lino and the Bedford cord upholstery. The carriage has a beautiful honey colour varnished appearance.
The axle caps state that this carriage was sold by Fullers of Bath and not actually made by them. It may have been made by Fullers of Bristol, it certainly shows the signs of quality one would expect from this top coach builder.
Sporting carriages are practical and can be used for a variety of purposes, a day out shooting, picnic rides or running errands in town. They are usually attractive vehicles but this is a particularly stylish carriage with a little more artistic merit than may sporting phaetons.
Any carriage that is presented with a varnished finish has to be built of the finest wood with the best grain and no blemishes. Having been sensitively restored in recent years, this carriage appears fresh from the carriage works and has a beautiful, honey colour to it.
The body has sides that are steam bent and curve right over the rear wheels to act as splashguards with the upper sides strengthened with iron supports three on each side. They have a cut out at the rear adding to the racy appearance of the carriage. On the nearside panel across the cut out is a curved iron grab handle, so aestheticly pleasing that one hardly notices it. In the lower part of the body of the carriage, under the seat, is a cut out allowing the front wheels to turn fully. On the front edge of the side panels is a grab handle which is curved to follow the shape of the steam bent panels. Along each side runs a decorative panel in the form of a frame work of wood in a darker colour to that of the rest of the carriage, with sham spindles, six on each side.
There is a further splashguard on each side which is of a rather clever design. It is steam bent and fixed by iron brackets to the underside of the steam bent side panels, and just under the sham spindles. At the front it starts out flat and then curves steeply upwards at the back. The flat part has a hole for the lamps to be fitted. The dashboard is made of varnished wood and is slightly curved. Iron grab handles are bolted to each side and a simple but elegant rein railsits on the top.
Inside the foot well, front edge of the hinged heel board and the tailboard are covered with lino with a dark green and yellow pattern. The heel board is supported on leather served iron chains that hook on to strong angled brackets. The lazy back is of wood and under it is a storage box, the original glove compartment. The seat cushions are covered with buff colour Bedford cord.
To mount the carriage the front wheel hubs have jagged edges. On each side of the foot well is a square step with rounded corners and a jagged edge. To the back on the nearside is a square skeletal step on a curved bracket which is fitted between the spring and the axle.
The wheels are 12 and 14 spoke English pattern with fine spokes. They are rubber shod and have collinge patent axles. The front and rear axles are slightly compassed. Elliptic springs are at the front and back and the fore carriage is very fine in construction with fittings for independent shafts. A lever brake is fitted to the rear wheels with its handle on the offside. The mechanism follows the line of the carriage sinuously.
All of the wood components are varnished with the iron work painted in black. It has been recently restored to a very high standard retaining the original upholstery and lino.
On the axle caps: SOLD BY S & A FULLERS BATH
The carriage is in excellent condition and very useable or displayable. It retains its original upholstery that has been cleaned and is well cared for being covered with acid free paper. The original lino also survives and looks to be in fine condition. The person who was responsible for the restoration of this Sporting Phaeton has carried out a sympathetic and high standard job.
This Sporting Phaeton is in the care of Bristol Museums
Tel: 0117 352 6600
Bristol Museums / Amy Bracey