This carriage was created by Cesare Salas in Milan (Italy) between 1887 and 1933. The restoration has been made by handmade processes in Carruajes Romero.
Description and historical introduction
Faeton is a very common carriage which belongs to a large family, but each of them has got a different surname.
Its name comes from Greek mythology. Phaeton, Helios’s son, wanted to guide his father’s carriage, but his horses bolted and he lost the control. Consequently, the sky and the land were burned. Zeus decided to punish him and Phaeton had to leave Olympus.
This piece has been used since 1780. It is a four-wheel carriage and the main seat is positioned at the front because the owner is the person who guides it. So, the back seat is reserved for one or two footmen.
The body of this carriage is rectangular and is suspended on four clamp axles. The body has an arch under the driver’s seat called a “wheel arch”, which allows the front wheels to turn. This model of carriage can be equipped with a bonnet. Moreover, it can be coupled to limonera (one horse), tronco (two horses) or cuartas (four horses).
Conservation status and diagnosis
In these projects, it has been necessary the physical methods of image examination and a good historical analysis to know the conservation status of the material. In addition, it is important to establish the variations and pathologies, so the result will be better.
There is a great deterioration in this piece caused by xylophagous insects, which could be alive and they have created a lot of holes in the lower part of the body. Besides, the leather of the bonnet has been extensively lost. There is rust on the ironworks (leaf springs or axles). Furthermore, there are considerable cracks and fissures in the body, underbody and wheels.
The interior is very damaged. For example, the upholstery is very dirty and it has got many stains caused by humidity. The buttons and the seat filler are missing too.
There are three fundamental principles in a restoration project: stability, reversibility and discernibility. We always respect them.
We offer an action plan which respects the original conservation of the material and the authenticity of this piece. It is very important to recover the functionality of the vehicle and to make minimum changes in relation with the material and chromatic reinstatement.
Many changes have been made in this project:
- First, the carriage was disinfected and mechanically cleaned. Then, the rusted parts were polished and the metal deformations were adjusted. Also, the leather was replaced and the cracks were reintegrated. Red and black paint has been used in this restoration. Also, we have performed the artistic drawing technique known as fileteado (green paint).
- In addition, the black leather bonnet has been replaced and we have created an upholstery that presents a green trimmed fabric and a red agreman (decorative accessory).
When the restoration is completed, our customers receive a final report which includes some photographs (before – after), a technical datasheet and a recommended conservation plan.
The intervention has been a success, the proposed objectives have been achieved and a detailed description of the restoration process has been done. Finally, this carriage shows a physical and functional balance.