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History of the collection
The collection of carriages, consisting of a hundred or so wheeled carriages and thirty-five sledges, was largely assembled during the 1930s and 1940s, a period that saw many upper-class families in Belgium exchanging their carriages for automobiles. A number of items also came into the museum’s possession before and after this period, including the ceremonial coupe in rocaille style (in 1889), the travelling coach of Leopold I (in 1903) and two ceremonial coaches of Napoleon III (in 1976). One of the great attractions of the collection is the great variety of models from the 18th and 19th centuries, thirty-seven in all, ranging from the ceremonial ‘berlin’ to the simple brewer’s dray, from the elegant town coupé to the sporty hunting-break.
Another particular attraction is the assemblage of 129 various model carriages donated in 2002 by Jan Vekemans that he had made himself to a scale of 1/10.
The luxuriously painted and sculpted decoration of the sledges and sedan chairs in our collection, most of which date from the eighteenth century, demonstrate the wealth of their owners.
Besides carriages, we also have horse gear (saddles, harness, stirrups, bits and spurs) and the liveries of coachmen, postilions and grooms. The collection also includes important archives and iconographic documents.