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Listed at 1 museum

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Quick Details

Carriage Type

Demi-Mail Phaeton

Date of Production

1870 circa

Accession or Inventory Number


Materials used

Paint, Wood, Iron, Leather, Wool Box Cloth

Summary of Demi-Mail Phaeton

A Demi-Mail Phaeton with an angular cut out in the body, a leather head and seats for the driver and grooms. Sprung on elliptic springs and painted black with red lining. Made by Thrupp and Maberley.

A phaeton is a four-wheeled carriage that was driven by the owner, and never by his professional coachman, so the principal seat is always in front, with a seat for a groom, or in this case two grooms, behind. Because of its size and its style, the Demi-Mail Phaeton was the ideal carriage for a country sportsman to drive his coach horses as a pair or a team, if the occasion did not justify the use of his drag.


Height: 8ft3 ½”

Length: 8ft 7”

Width: 5ft 7 ¼”

Full description

The Demi-Mail phaeton followed the Mail Phaeton and differs in design in that it does not have a perch and has a cut out in the body under the seat allowing more turning space for the fore carriage and making the whole carriage lighter. The cut out on this carriage is angular, very often they were semi-circular. Demi-Mails were also sprung on elliptic springs rather than the telegraph springs of the Mail Phaeton. 

The front seat has a round back with sham spindles and a sloping footboard with a leather dashboard. A grab handle is fitted to each side on the edge of the seat and there is a handle at each corner of the dashboard. The leather hood appears to be original and in good condition, it has folding irons that are painted black and leather splash guards on each side. The rear of the body has a seat for two people that over hangs the body of the carriage. The seat has double seat rails and is served with a leather skirt. The well of the body is deep and straight sided and lined with lino. 

The lamps that are fitted have oval fronts and rectangular side lights. They have single chimney’s and are painted black with brass furniture. The brackets are fixed to the side of the body just under the front seat. 

The wheels are English pattern with 10 spokes at the front and 12 at the rear with rubber tyres and on collinge patent axles. The axles are both straight.  Sprung on elliptic springs at the front and back. A footbrake is fitted to the rear wheels. The roller bolts and the pole are leather served. Leather pole straps are attached to the pole.

The paintwork consists of the body being black with red lining and the undercarriage is in scarlet with black lining. The seat back is painted dark brown/maroon. On the back panel are the initials ‘C M E’. The seats have been upholstered in a brown box cloth. This is not the original material. A rectangular jagged step plate is fitted to the front on both sides for the driver and passenger to mount the carriage. Each plate has two holes in thatenables a folding wooden ladder to the attached.  


On the axle caps: THRUPP & MABERLEY LONDON

Condition report

This Demi-Mail Phaeton appears to be in good order. The leather head looks stable with no obvious cracks and the paintwork seems secure. The seats have been reupholstered fairly recently.

Access informaton

This Demi-Mail Phaeton is in the care of the Tyrwhitt-Drake Carriage Museum

Maidstone Museum and Art Gallery

St Faith's Street, 


ME14 1LH


Picture credit

Maistone Museum/Amy Bracey