Dress Chariot

Dress Chariot

Dress Chariot, Manufacturer: Armbruster, Wein, Austria, Restored by: Patrick Schroven, Belgium

Made by the coachbuilder Armbruster in the early 1840’s for Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria, this wonderful ceremonial vehicle was used by the royal family as they traveled about the streets of Vienna to greet their constituents.

The vehicle seats two occupants, facing forward.  As there are no handles on the door’s interior, communication with the coachman was via a pull string which attached to a button on the back of his coat. Footmen walked beside or stood on the platform at the rear of the vehicle and were ready to assist the royals as they entered or exited the vehicle. Steps fold down from the interior.

The stunning hammercloth over the driver’s seat is of silk velvet, decorated with 210 hand turned, hand covered gold bullion. Over 150 meters of gold cables further adorn the cloth. The great seal of the Austrian Empire superimposed with the personal crest of the Hapsburg family competes the presentation.