The finished maquettes were reproduced in the monthly issues Le Guide du carrossieret les équipages ŕ Paris, Revue de la construction des voitures et des automobiles(1880-1900) *3 . The publisher was Brice Thomas *4.
These illustrations picture examples of excessively decorated luxury carriages (carrosseFrance, Luxuswagenbau. Germany) driven by wealthy Europeans in an era before theautomobile . The album includes six highly decorated sleds (traineau. France; schlittern.Germany). The watercolor “traineau” unsigned, from the early 19th century, is essentially 2a ceremonial sleigh used by the wealthy society to appear in a winter festival. The sledis modeled on a baroque style of traineau shaped as a slipper, decorated with cupids.
Not only are the maquettes beautiful in their own right, but they are clearer and sharperthan the final photographs that would appear in the semi-monthly periodical.
Before the automobile was invented , horse and cart were necessary but could also be aluxurious means of transportation. Driving in the private carriage unfolded in the 19thcentury as never before and sparked a boom in Luxuswagenbau. New wealthy strata ofsociety at that time developed a large mobility and need for representation. (Furger.Introduction)
*1. The ceremonial traîneau was first created as a means of winter sporting for thepleasure of the European royalty and aristocracy in the 17th and 18th century. Far fromhaving a purely utilitarian purpose, these fabulous vehicles were used throughout Europein parades and races. “Parade sleighs came into fashion in the Renaissance and remainedin vogue until the French Revolution.” No expense was spared in the construction ofsleighs, which were executed by leading court artists and sculptors, and no detail wasoverlooked, as even the upholstery and blankets were lavishly decorated and the horseswere outfitted with silver, feathers, and jewels … A further interesting aspect of 18thcentury “traîneau culture” was that it enhanced the woman’s role in court ceremony…theoccupant of the sleigh would be female “the real center of the event was the lady…in whichshe displays in the most magnificent attire her wealth and beauty…the head covered withdiamonds…she appears as a Venus in her vehicle, and is conscious of the admiration ofthousands of people.” (Hobbs)
*2 Lagard, Luce André (Lagarde ?) was an important designer of carriages, especially forLe Guide du Carrossier, 66 Rue Abbatucci, Paris, France. He was awarded the Class XIV.The Hub Medal of Merit," for best design and working drawing of a One-horse Cab adaptedfor public use in cities.” (Hub, 1880)
*3 Le Guide du Carrossier later La Carrosserie française : publication spéciale traitantde la construction des voitures et de la sellerie-harnais: paraissant tous les deux mois.1859-1913. Montly, bi-monthly
Le Guide du Carrossier described and pictured luxury carriages as well as vehicles fortransport and public service. It employed carefully drawn illustrations with practicalinformation followed by dimensional measurements for all necessary parts to majorconstruction including énchantillons. It printed details for painting saddlery and harnesses,and it recounted the historical and commercial history of the different body types. Thecarriages were drawn to scale in outlines, shaded in black and printed in colors (as here).
*4 Thomas, Brice (Pierre-Brice-Marc-Antoine Thomas) was born in Friaize , a small townof Eure et Loire ( 28) , July 16, 1820. From the age of 13, apprenticed to a cooper as a 3wheelwright. He was a mechanic during the early Tours de France. Called to militaryservice, he served in the artillery and learned elementary and descriptive geometry,mathematics and industrial design.
According to an article in The Hub, In 1858, Thomas founded Guide du Carrossier aswell as a school for the instruction of young men who were ambitious to occupy responsiblepositions within the carriage and later automobile manufacturers. He is author of Traité demenuiserie en voitures,..[Privatedly printed: 1870] (Hub, 1913).
Furger, Andres:Kutschen Europas des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts, Band 1: EquipagenHandbuch.Mit einem Vorwort von Heinz Scheidel,Verlag: Olms Verlag, 2009
The The Automotive Manufacturer, Volume 21, 1880. P.365The Hub. The Automotive Manufacturer, Volume 55, April 1913. P.11
Note: A number of 18th and 19th century sleighs of Dutch, German and French origin arenow preserved in the Musée des Carrosses of Versailles and the Musée National de laVoiture et du Tourisme in Compičge See, for example:
http://en.chateauversailles.fr/news-/events/expositions/versailles-a-arras-en (Inventory #: 1324)