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Coaches and Sledges

Basle 'sausage' sledge

Key data

Basle, 2nd half 19th century

Height 187 cm, width 135 cm, length 270 cm

Inv. 1982.164.


In the C18 and C19 and in the early C20 young people from wealthy families regularly went out on sledge rides together, with a night time meal and dancing. In this the middle class took over the tradition of the aristocratic 'carousel' rides of the Baroque age in a form adapted to the time. These Basle sledge parties often crossed into neighbouring Baden and Alsace. Those who did not have sleighs of their own travelled on a so called 'sausage', a hired sledge with several seats and driven by a coachman. The acquaintanceships made in this way not uncommonly led to marriage. The sausage sledge exhibited belonged to the Basle hackney cab firm of Gebrüder Keller and was used until about 1930. However, this type of sledge, with the seat bench running round the inside of the body, was not usually called a 'sausage' in Basle. Generally a 'sausage' was a long, narrow sledge having a chest like body with a sausage shaped leather upholstered seat on which the passengers sat astride.

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Basel Historical Museum
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