Object Record

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Catalog Number 212
Collection Carriage Collection Vehicles
Object Name Gig
Place of Origin Italy
Maker Unknown
Date 1665-1675
Dimensions H-64 W-57 L-167 inches
Notes Gig or sediolo.

This gig, which can also be called a chaise, is the oldest vehicle in the museum's collection and is an excellent example of the attention carriage makers of the period gave to ornamentation. This vehicle would not have provided a comfortable ride, since the seat is mounted directly onto the long, straight shafts. The step iron is placed on the shaft well in front of the seat. The seat pillars are splayed and carved with a tulip design and scrolled ends. The exterior is painted red and green. Painted decoration includes an angular orange line a half inch wide framing a cluster of flowers on the back and sides of the seat. The corners of the seat riser are edged in a painted ribbon motif. A swag and tassel crest adorns the front of the seat riser, below which is an undecipherable Italian inscription. The floor of the toeboard is decorated with painted white tulips, a motif repeated in various sizes throughout the vehicle. The interior of the seat is painted in mottled browns and golds. The seat is covered with a small cushion of rose silk shot with silver thread and edged with silver fringe. The crossbar and singletree are carved and painted. A footman's standard hands from leather straps off the axle. The high wheels are extensively and delicately painted with fine lines and abstract geometric patterns. The hub bands are flanged brass and the tire irons are studded.
Credit line Gift of Ward Melville, 1971.