[ Carriages, coaches, etc. ] Large collection of items relating to carriages, coaches, coaching and coach building

Author: 
Silk & Sons of Long Acre, London, Victorian Coach Builders
Publication details: 
c.1750-1893.
£1,500.00
SKU: 18986

Silk & Sons were one of the leading coach builders of Victorian London, Robert Silk (born c.1797, fl.1871) already being established in Long Acre by 1851. Robert Silk was succeeded by his son William (born 1824), who in his turn took his sons William junior (1853-1911) and Robert John (1858-1934) into the business. The firm continued to trade at least until 1907, when the Long Acre premises were sold.The present collection, mainly compiled by the elder William Silk, contains around 350 items relating to carriages, coaches, coaching and coach building, dating from between 1750 and 1893. It includes 36 original drawings in ink and pencil, of which 23 are side-view diagrams by Robert and William Silk of carriages (including commissions by Sir Hudson Lowe, Sir Charles MacCarthy, Sir Cursetjee Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy, Thomas Rouse), together with designs for crests and other ornamentation; 23 sepia photographs; and approximately 200 engravings and 50 articles. Most of these engravings are of English origin, with a few from France and Germany. Among them are around 60 engraved plates (including a side view engraving with fold-up flaps of a four-wheel carriage, titled ‘Die Metamorphose’; ‘La Gaillarde (Voiture Mécanique)’, lithograph from the Echo des Ports No. 1; ‘The Palanquin presented by the Marquis Cornwallis to Prince Abdul Calic, Eldest Son of Tippoo Sultan | Published by J. Sewel, Sepr. 1796’; ‘Coupe et Elevation d’une Brouette avec ses Developpements’, engraved by P. L. Cor from A. J. Roubo; ‘The Emperor of China in his Carriage of Ceremony’; lithograph of ‘Harness made by Messrs. Blackwell for the Khedive’) and 140 engravings from British magazines including the Graphic and the Illustrated London News. The articles are from English periodicals such as the City Press; Coachmakers’ Journal; European Magazine; Harper’s New Monthly Magazine; Times; Universal Magazine; Whitehall Review. Also included are around 50 articles from English periodicals such as the City Press; Coachmakers’ Journal; European Magazine; Harper’s New Monthly Magazine; Times; Universal Magazine; Whitehall Review.The collection is in fair condition, aged and worn, with the items are mostly laid down on the remains of the grey paper leaves of an album. The album leaves are of high-acidity paper which is chipping at the edges, which has in some cases resulted in damage to the items themselves.The following description is of a sample of the collection, and is divided into Drawings; Photographs; Manuscript and Printed Texts; and Engravings.A. Drawings– Diagram of 15cm side view of the four-wheel carriage of ‘Sir Hudson Lowe | Ceylon’. In ink over pencil. On 16 x 26cm paper. Caption reads: ‘Shifting Bodies – Green Lined Claret – Roll up Back to Occasional Hood on jointed Iron frame Covered with McIntosh’s Patent Fabr | Barouche Seat reversed on front – An additional Plain Seat Board & occasi Foot board for Hind End, Lamps Shafts & Harness (Brass) for one Horse’.– Drawing, signed by ‘W Silk’, of 17cm side view of four-wheel carriage. Captioned ‘Thos Rouse Esqe Brougham’. In pencil on 19 x 29cm paper. Captioned with dimensions.– Diagram, signed ‘R Silk’, of 12cm side view of four-wheel carriage of ‘Wm Douglas Esq’. With caption: ‘attend particularly to sweeps | cast upon an oval block in centre of corner pannel [sic]’.– Drawing of 15cm side view of two-wheel carriage. In ink on 12 x 16cm tracing paper. Captioned: ‘Street Phaeton. | Proposed for Sir Cursetjee Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy. | July 1860.’– Diagram of 20cm side view of the four-wheel carriage of ‘Sir Js MacCarthay [for Sir Charles MacCarthy (1764-1824)] killed in first Ashantee War.’ In sepia ink. On 16 x 22.5cm paper. Damage at head of page, not affecting diagram.– Drawing, signed ‘R Silk, of 18.5 side view of four-wheel carriage of ‘ Esqr’: ‘A very small dormeuse chariott a turn over<?> the imperial & the front seat & show 2 Drag chains’. In black and red ink, with captions and dimensions. On 13.5 x 22cm paper. At foot: ‘do not show the bed | step is too deep’.– Drawing of scallop ornamentation, signed by ‘R. Silk’. In ink on 10 x 19cm paper. Captioned: ‘Stronger & deeper at X X X X & the shell an eight [sic] of an inch full lower | the red lines top & bottom of shell show this last alteration | RS’.– Diagram of 21.5cm side view of four-wheel carriage. On 17.5 x 22.5cm paper. In sepia ink with faint dimensions in red. ‘Foreign | by P Quinn’ in bottom left-hand corner. Damage at head of page, not affecting diagram.– Drawing of 15cm side view of four-wheel carriage. In ink over pencil, on 17 x 23cm paper. With dimensions.– Drawing, signed by ‘W Silk’, of 17.5cm side view of four-wheel carriage. Detailed drawing in ink. On 12 x 22.5cm card. At foot: ‘Silk and Sons. | Long Acre’.– Drawing of 28cm side view of carriage. Finished in fine detail, in ink. On 17 x 28cm paper. ‘E Silk’ in bottom right-hand corner. Uncaptioned.– Design of crest of the Order of St Patrick (motto: ‘QUIS SEPARABIT MDCCLXXXIII’). 20.5 x 26.5cm, clearly intended as a guide for a sign writer. Drawn in red pencil and with the lines of the design pricked with a pin. A very interesting artefact, showing how the design was transferred to a door or other part of a carriage for painting.– Design of crest (of Viscount Gort?) with motto ‘COLOONY’. 22.5 x 16cm. In pencil. On 25 x 40cm paper with Joynson watermark dated 1853. Pricked along lines for signwriter as previous item. With instructions in top right-hand corner: ‘Visct Gort Coach June 21 1861 Double Crests on Quarter & Rails Do Footboard’.– Amusing crude ink sketch of an old lady in bonnet and shawl with long whip, driving a blinkered horse pulling her in a small four-wheel open topped carriage. In ink. On 11 x 13.5cm paper.– Details of what appears to be a folding step. In pencil. On 12 x 19.5cm paper.B. Photographs– Two photographs by J. Kuhn, Paris, showing an elaborate state coach in a museum or showroom. On 20.5 x 27 cm pieces of paper. One with wear at the head.– Two photographs of highly-finished drawings of side views of carriages drawn by horses in livery. On 18.5 x 36.5cm and 17 x 36cm pieces of paper. Neither drawing captioned.– Two photographs of highly-finished drawings of side views of four-wheel carriages. On 23.5 x 24cm and 19 x 32cm pieces of paper. The first with device of ‘P. Godsal, Coachmaker, London’.– Two photographs, forming a pair, of matching oval representations of side views of four-wheel carriages. On 11 x 18cm and 13 x 20cm pieces of paper. Each with ‘Silk & Sons | Long Acre’ at foot of oval. Both laid down on the same leaf, with the upper illustration captioned by William Silk: ‘Proposed to be built for the King of Naples.’– Two photographs, forming a pair, of matching engravings of side views of four wheel carriages. On 17 x 28cm and 17 x 29cm pieces of paper. Printed at foot of both engravings: ‘SILK & SONS 8 & 9 LONG ACRE LONDON’.– Photograph of side view of four-wheel carriage, on cobbles in front of the corner of a brick building (Silk & Co’s Long Acre premises?). On 15.5 x 20cm paper. By William Silk in bottom left-hand corner: ‘Hooper & Co.’– Photograph of side view of four-wheel carriage, taken outdoors in front of two windows of a brick building (Silk & Co’s Long Acre premises?). On 10 x 14.5cm paper. By William Silk in bottom left-hand corner: ‘A. H. Campbell Esqe. | by Silk & Sons’.– Five small photographs of side views of carriages. Each on 5.5 x 10cm pieces of paper. Laid down and grouped together on the same page, with one captioned ‘"Windover"’. Four of the photographs are taken outdoors (two with their horses, taken in front of an ornate brick wall), with three featuring coachmen, and one a gentleman.– Photograph of two-wheel carriage with white horse, taken in a park. On 14 x 16cm paper.C. Manuscript and Printed Texts.– Transcription of passage in William Silk’s autograph, headed ‘Copy of the inscription on the large oil painting of the above to be seen at "Aldridge’s" St. Martin’s Lane.’ Accompanying an engraving of ‘A Perspective View of New Market with a Description of the Horses & Carriage that Run there the 29 Augt. 1750’ (‘Engraved for the Universal Magazine, 1750, for I. Hinton at the Kings Arms in St Pauls Church Yard London’).– Autograph Note Signed by ‘Wm Silk’. 1p., landscape 12mo, captioned ‘State Coach built for Charles 10th. in 1825 in Paris . weighs 13000 Kilos equal to 12 tons 16 cwt’.– Lithographed document, with engraved diagrams, by ‘J. P. Oates, M.R.C.S. | Inventor & Patentee’, headed ‘Oate’s Patent India-Rubber Springs, and Robbin Barces for Carriages’, dated from Lichfield in 1853. Other illustrated patent material relating to ‘The Aequimotive Spring. | Messrs W. & F. Thorn’; ‘Compound Carriage Spring. Registered for Mr. J. J. Catterson, C.E., London’; ‘An Improved method of hanging two-wheeled Carriages. | John Buchanan, Patentee’.– Two printed pamphlets. First pamphlet: ‘Description and Illustrations of Ackermann’s Patent Moveable Axle for Carriages’, ‘London: Printed for R. Ackermann, 101, Strand, by L. Harrison, 373, Strand. 1818.’ 8pp., 12mo. Cropped. Second pamphlet: ‘Description and Illustrations of Ackermann’s Patent Moveable Axle for Carriages.’ 4pp., 4to. Cropped. With the first and second of the three accompanying prints, ‘Printed at R. Ackermann’s Lithographic Press’ and dated 1 and 2 February 1818.– Printed handbill headed ‘The Oath of every Freeman of the CITY of LONDON.’ Without place or date. 1p., 8vo. On paper watermarked ‘ABBEY MILL | 1824’. Begins: ‘YE shall swear that ye shall be good and true to our Sovereign Lord King GEORGE.’ (Name altered in pencil to ‘Lady Queen Victoria’.) Ends: ‘GOD save the King.’ (Last word altered to ‘Queen’.) City crest at head.– Printed handbill headed ‘Copy of the Oath taken by every Freeman of the Company of COACH-MAKERS and COACH-HARNESS-MAKERS of LONDON.’ 1p., foolscap 8vo. Without place or date, but before the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837. Crisply printed with the Company’s crest at head.– Printed article from the European Magazine for January 1783, titled ‘Description of Mr. HATCHETT’s Manufactory in Long Acre, London. Embellished with an elegant perspective View of the Front of his beautiful House.’ Paginated 17-18, on the same leaf. Placed within a windowpane mount, and ruled with red border.D. Engravings– Engraved early nineteenth-century trade card of ‘Powell | from Godsal’s, London | Coach & Harness, Maker, | Cheltenham, Late of Gloucester’– Engraving by E. Turrell from the ‘Manufactory 5 & 6, Margaret Street, Cavendish Square’. Showing side view of carriage above three details of its workings, with explanatory captions. On 26 x 20cm paper.– Coloured engraving of ‘Mr. Moore’s New Invented Machine for Travelling without Horses.’ (Executed in 1771.)– Engraving of 13.5cm side view of four-wheel carriage. On 16.5 x 26.5cm paper. Captioned ‘Phaétons à 4 roues | 5e. Categ[ori]e.– Large engraving of ‘His Majesty King George the Third’s New State Coach’.– Large engraving of ‘An Inversable Coach [Berline Inversable] with all the accessaries relative to Safety Convenience and Ornament’.– Engraving of ‘The Royal State Carriage. | Engraved from a photograph taken by special permission for the Carriage Builders and Harness Makers Art Journal’.– Engraving of ‘A State Car, made for an Indian Sovereign’, with pencil note: ‘Built at Hatchetts Long Acre (now Wyburn’s).– Engraving by Daudel from Ligier of ‘Vista de la Hermita y de la Fiesta de San Isidro en Madrid. [View of the Convent and of the Festival of St. Isidro at Madrid.]’– Long (two landscape 8vo pages) engraving of ‘La Char de la Ville’.– Coloured engraving of 13cm side view of four-wheel carriage. On 11 x 18.5cm paper.– Engraving (by Gustav Dore?) captioned ‘A Day Ashore in Ceylon: The Dangers of Racing Rickshas in the Streets of Colombo’ (16.5 x 22cm); with engraving ‘"Towing My Lady Home" | Drawn by Gordon Browne’ (21 x 30cm). Both extracted from magazines.?>