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Double brougham

Cole and Son

Category

Carriages & other vehicles

Date

1890

Materials

Painted wood body with morocco leather upholstery and four rubber shod wheels.

Measurements

208.5 x 325 x 168cm (6ft 10in x 10ft 8in x 5ft 6 1/8in)

Place of origin

Kensington

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Collection

National Trust Carriage Museum (Accredited Museum)

On show at

Arlington Court and The National Trust Carriage Museum, Devon, South West, National Trust

NT 272905.1

Caption

The first brougham was commissioned in 1837 by Lord Brougham (1778-1868). He wanted “a refined and glorified street cab, which would make a convenient carriage for a gentleman…closed and intimate thus allowing the occupants to conduct a private conversation”. It was an instant success.

Summary

Double Brougham built by Cole and Son for Lieutenant-Colonel Francis Marwood Hext,circa 1890. Double Brougham (four wheels) for a single or pair of horses. A conventional but very good double Brougham with angular profile by little known builder, which proves that it was not only the great names in 19th century coach building who produced work of the highest quality. The coachman’s seat has a single seat rail. There is a fixed heel board in boot and a dropped footboard between the moulded brackets. The roof and upper panels are leather covered. The carriage has staples for a roof basket but the basket is missing. On the front rail is a hole for a communication cord. The front seat can be hinged up when it is not in use, and it is retained by a strap. This carriage is painted in the Hext family colours of chocolate and gold, and the superb interior trimming is in the same colours.

Full description

This brougham was built as a wedding present for Lieutenant-Colonel F.M.Hext of Redhayes, Pinhoe, near Exeter, in 1893 by W. Cole & Sons, Kensington, London, and used by him on his honeymoon on the Isle of Wight. Lieutenant-Colonel Francis Marwood Hext was the fourth surviving son of Thomas Hext of Tranarren, St Austell. He was born in 1860, was created Lieutenant-Colonel in 1888 and married Florence Petherwick on the 17th June 1893. He became High Sheriff of Devon in 1933 and died on the 21st December 1944. The first brougham was commissioned in 1837 by Henry Peter Brougham (1778-1868) first Baron Brougham and Vaux, Whig politician, lawyer and Minister of State. He wanted “a refined and glorified street cab, which would make a convenient carriage for a gentleman”, unlike his usual form of transport, probably a town coach or chariot, both far larger and heavier. He designed a carriage that would be light and compact, needing just one horse and a coachman – ideal for use on busy streets. The body would be low for easy access and should carry two people and be “closed and intimate thus allowing the occupants to conduct a private conversation whilst travelling”. His ideas were rejected by his usual coachbuilder so he took them to another, Robinson & Cook, just round the corner. They agreed to build the vehicle and it was called the Brougham by his Lordship’s express permission. Lord Brougham’s brainchild was an instant success and, within a few years, broughams were being built in vast numbers wherever carriages of Western European style were used. They were particularly popular with professional and middle class families, and became the everyday carriages of the wealthy and the aristocracy.

Marks and inscriptions

On front nearside axle cap.: COLE & SONS LONDON On front offside axle cap.: COLE & SONS LONDON On rear nearside axle cap.: COLE & SONS LONDON On rear offside axle cap.: COLE & SONS LONDON On back plates of glass string knobs.: W COLE & SONS KENSINGTON On back plates of glass string knobs.: royal crown On candle holder cap of nearside lamp.: BOTWOOD IPSWICH On the nearside front tyre.: THE IDEAL TYRE MADE IN AMERICA On nearside hind tyre.: “THE IDEAL TYRE” MFD. BY B.F. GOODRICH CO. AKRON. O. USA . On offside rear tyre.: “THE IDEAL TYRE” MFD. BY B.F. GOODRICH CO. AKRON. O. USA . On front nearside axle components: W.I.SHORTHOUSE On front offside axle components.: W.I.SHORTHOUSE On rear nearside axle components.: W.I.SHORTHOUSE On rear offside axle components.: W.I.SHORTHOUSE On front nearside axle components.: 60 On front offside axle components.: 60 On rear nearside axle components.: 60 On rear offside axle components.: 60

Makers and roles

Cole and Son, coachbuilder

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