Children's Cabriolets in the collection of the National Coach Museum
The National Coach Museum presents some small cabriolets and riding equipment used by little princes and children during the 19th century.
Usually pulled by ponies, donkeys, sheep or goats, this promenade vehicles were used predominantly for strolls around the palace gardens.
At the time, many of this children's cabriolets were ordered for prestige gifts, presenting, for this reason, a high artistic, technical and artistic value. A few were equipped with safety features to protect those they carry and prevent accidents.
Of particular importance is the carriage offered to Prince Charles of Portugal (Carlos) by the King of Italy Vittorio Emmanuel II.
Harness for children's riding
This group is comprised of headgear, bridle, curb chain and reins for a child. Some pieces are engraved with the manufacturers mark Shipley Sadler, Regent Street, London.
The little princes were also educated in the art of chivalry. This little saddle served for the young princes to begin their formation and integrated a set of harness for children's riding by King Vittorio Emanuel II in 1868 to his grandson Prince Charles of Portugal.
The saddle displays on the back leather flap a silver medallion with the crowned initial C (of Prince Charles).
Here we can see a dark blue wool kerchief produced in Shipley Regent Street in London. This kerchief is decorated with the crowned monogram of Prince Charles. The kerchief was also given by King Vittorio Emanuel II in 1868 to his grandson Prince Charles of Portugal during the same trip to Turin.
Cabriolet for a child
19th century (1875-1900), Portuguese work. Open body made of woven straw, upholstered in padded green leather, with a seatbelt for one passenger and a small coachman's seat. The footstep to enter the vehicle hangs from the body's lower brace.This vehicle belonged to Princes Charles and Afonso, sons of King D. Luís of Portugal (1838-1889).
Millord for children
19th century (1850-60), Portuguese work. Promenade vehicle for a child, it has a hight coachman's seat. The body is painted in dark blue, edged in white outlines with the Royal Coat of Arms on the doors. The interior is upholstered in red capitonné and has a safety belt on the passenger seat. According to the museum's archives, this Milord was used by the children of Queen D. Maria II of Portugal (1819-53).
Phaeton for children
19th century (1850-60), English work. According to tradition, this little "Phaéton" was used by the children of the queen D. Maria II when they were children. It seats two children and their servant, behind them. It displays small royal crowns on the side panels on the rear. The interior is upholstered in dark blue felt and the floor is covered in carpets with floral motifs. The phaeton was pulled by ponies.
Cabriolet for children
19th-20th century (1890-1900), French work. Promenade vehicle for children, used by the royal family. It has an open body made of woven straw, lined padded green leather, with one passenger seat. The suspension is made of elliptical springs and integrated into the wheels. The stirrup to access the vehicle hangs from the body's lower flange.
Texts: silvana Bessone / Teresa Abreu
Translation: Luís Ramos Pinto
Vídeo: Gilliard Bressan / Nuno Augusto
Collection: National Coach Museum; National Ajuda Palace
- GUIDE NATIONAL COACH MUSEUM - A unique collection worldwide which tranSports us in time; coord. Silvana Bessone, SEC/DGPC/MNC, Lisbon, Portugal, 2015
- NATIONAL COACH MUSEUM GUIDE; coord. Silvana Bessone, MC/IPM/MNC, Lisbon, Portugal, 2002
- A EDUCAÇÃO DOS PRÍNCIPES NO PAÇO DA AJUDA [1863-1884]; Carmina Correia Guedes; dir. e coord. Isabel Silveira Godinho, MC/IPPAR/PNA, Lisboa: Palácio Nacional da Ajuda, Portugal, 2004
All rights belong to the National Coach Museum of Costume in Portugal unless otherwise stated.