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EXTRAORDINARY AND SUPERB SLEIGH HAVING BELONGED TO THE EMPRESS JOSEPHINE. In wood painted in green and gilded. Shell-shaped body carved in half round with two griffins with spread wings on the sides, lined inside with green velvet, leather-lined mudguard, decorated on the front with a carved gilded wooden statuette representing the goddess "Hebe".The body, resting on two crosspieces and four gilded columns, carries at the back a seat called "coachman's seat" on a wrought iron support.Mounted on two wooden skids, sloping towards the front, supporting an arch enriched with thirty three bells and two bells, decorated with an eagle in gilded carved wood, with outstretched wings, and bearing at the rear for the coachman two wrought iron footrests furnished with leather and fur slippers. Length : 3 m. Width : 1m 56B.E. (Small restorations, traces of use, later velvet, missing 4 bells). First Empire periodProvenance : Former collection of M.FAURAX in 1894.Former collection of M.MUHLBACHER (in 1889) Collection of Mr B, Museum of locomotion and carriageExhibition : Paris World Fair (1889)Exhibition of Lyon (1894)Universal Exhibition of Paris (1900). Milan International Exhibition (1906)History: "Drag racing came back into fashion under the Consulate and Empire, but not to the extent that it had in the 18th century. On 10 February 1803, the woman who was still only the wife of the First Consul but who was soon to become Empress Josephine, brought out the sleighs of Louis XV for the last time. They will then join the Trianon Carriage Museum inaugurated in 1851. »The beautiful Creole also had some made in the Empire style, and had a lot of fun with this entertainment. One of her sleighs, exhibited in Lyon in 1894, is a real marvel (note: this is our sleigh), "in a very pure Empire style, gilded, upholstered in green velvet and trimmed with bells and crystal bells. An eagle surmounts the front of the sleigh; above the feet of the Empress stands an antique golden goddess, two griffins, also gilded, seeming to support her seat. »After her divorce from Napoleon I, Josephine continued to indulge in the pleasures of the frozen lakes. Settled with her entire retinue in her small castle in Navarre, which her ex-husband had given her as compensation, she had her sleds brought from Malmaison. During the early winter of 1810, the countless ponds in the château were transformed into ice rinks.The ladies, who dreaded tying the skates directly to their feet, opted for seated skating, "that is to say, chairs were taken which the skaters flew across the ice with all the rapidity of their momentum. »This method of skating will leave a lasting impression on Mlle d'Avrillon, the Empress's first chambermaid. Although she was not very fond of this kind of game, on January 9, 1811, she let herself be convinced to sit in the "fatal armchair". The gentlemen insisted on making her do it again.During this second race, the armchair pushed by the gentlemen met Josephine's sleigh, in which her ladies were sitting, who tried it out. Let us leave the floor to the principal interested party, who recounts her misadventure with a savory style in her Memoirs:"Instead of stopping, as prudence commanded them to do, my drivers, in order to avoid the shock, threw the chair into a path that was not cleared, and extremely rough; the chair tumbled and I fell horribly. I had both bones of my left leg broken a little above the ankle, and so badly fractured, that one of my bones pierced my skin and tore my arm. I also had a severe dislocation of the foot.The unfortunate woman had to remain in bed for nearly two months... The Empress visited her daily to monitor her recovery. Soon her daughter, Queen Hortense, and all the courtiers imitated their mistress. They visit the convalescent, who is not the first victim of these wild rides! »Mention is also made of sledges in the entertainments of Prince Eugene during a visit to his mother, in 1811, at the Château de Navarre: "As soon as he arrived at the castle, all sorts of fun parties were organized, sleigh rides, hunts in the forest"History of the sled : We can see that the history of the sled is particularly well informed from 1890, years from which it

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Location of the item : France - 77300 - fontainebleau

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