Schlitten „Leu“

Lion Sleigh

Canton Thurgau, 18th cent. Figurehead, 19th cent. Chassis
Carved wood, wrought iron, leather
H. 170 cm, L. 225 cm, W. 69 cm
Inv. 1894.418.

1181px x 929px
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This figural sleigh with its superbly carved lion figurehead comes from Canton Thurgau originally. The carved lion baring its teeth probably dates from 1730/40. A second, much smaller lion crowns the runners. The animal figures were mounted onto a new chassis in the 19th century. The long seat ends in a shell-shaped backrest at the rear end.
The lion was a popular motif for the figural sleighs used mainly for festive sleigh rides and carousels. The sleigh was drawn by a single horse. While the driver sat astride the lion’s elongated body, his lady passenger could also ride “side saddle” if she preferred. The seat doubles as a lid so that in cold weather the hollow body could be filled with a source of heat.

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