'Court Carriages of the 18th – early 20th centuries' exhibition

31 December, Saturday
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A permanent exhibition of court carriages of the eighteenth - early twentieth centuries

The exhibition has been opened in the former Duty Stables building that was built in 1824 to a design by the architects Vasily Stasov and Smaragd Shustov.

The display features 24 imperial conveyances created by eminent Russian and Western European craftsmen.

Today the display includes a variety of conveyances: coaches, phaetons, cabriolets and sledges that were used in the 1700s and 1800s for grand parades and coronations – the imperial court’s most magnificent ceremonies.

Three coaches made for Empress Catherine II by the celebrated St Petersburg carriage-builder Johann Konrad Bukendahl are striking for their immense size, opulent gilded carving and rich interior decoration. No less remarkable in terms of craftsmanship are the vehicles from the middle of the nineteenth century that were produced by the Court Carriage Establishment. Exceptional interest is aroused by the ten coaches created for the coronation of Emperor Alexander II by St Petersburg manufacturers: Christian Tatzki, the Froebelius brothers and the Yakovlev brothers.

The Tsarskoye Selo collection also includes fine vehicles from Karl Nellis’s factory and uniquely constructed coaches made by Ivan Bräutigam’s factory. A special place in the collection is taken by the vehicle in which Emperor

Alexander II was riding when he was fatally wounded on 1 March 1881.

The last hall of the display contains sledges that were as richly decorated and skilfully made as other grand vehicles. Among them is a sledge that belonged to Emperor Paul I and a ten-seater sledge that Johann Konrad Bukendahl made in 1793 for the ladies of Catherine II’s court.

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