Probably Basel, late 19th century
Woodwork and coach-building
Ironware and metalworking
H. 164 cm, W. 115 cm, L. 240 cm
Self-driven horse-drawn sleighs like this one were used for the sleigh rides into Baden or Alsace that were popular among Basel's jeunesse dorée. They were pulled by pairs of horses with decorative harnesses. The sleigh is simple and elegant and thus typical of Basel equipages. The runners converge at the top where they are crowned by a winged head of a basilisk. The bar for the guide reins is mounted on the large wooden snow screen. The lower parts of the side panels are modestly decorated with ornamental carvings. The high backrest of the comfortable bench is fitted with lamp brackets (the lamps themselves have not survived). There is a dickey seat at the back for use by a coachman, if desired. Reduced to the absolute essentials, the seat is a good illustration of the class differences that still existed between wealthy families and their servants in the 19th century.