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Coaches and Sledges

Pattern sheet for the coachwork

Key data

Basle, Carrosserie Heimburger, ca. 1890

Height 20 cm, width 31 cm

Inv. 1981.211.


Coachwork guides made up of sheets of this kind with accompanying text booklets were used by coachbuilders to keep up with the latest fashions in carriage design. This is from Le Guide du Carrossier, published by Brice Thomas, 135, Boulevard Haussmann, Paris, no. 54, serie A. As coaches were not usually mass produced in Europe, but were built one by one, the customer was often advised personally when making the order. He could state his wishes regarding lacquerwork, upholstery, etc. The function of these pattern sheets is entirely comparable to that of the illustrations in present day fashion magazines. The Guides du Carrossier by well known publishers, such as Louis Dupont and Brice Thomas, both of Paris, could be obtained on subscription. They often reported on exhibitions and the coaches and sledges shown at them. For Basle coachbuilders it was usual to spend a certain period of apprenticeship in Paris. Many vehicles in the Brüglingen collection illustrate that they worked closely with Paris firms and were familiar with the dernier cri of Parisian coachwork fashion.

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