News From Terre Haute, Indiana


January 18, 2014

HISTORICAL TREASURE: Sleigh Manufactured approximately 200 years ago

TERRE HAUTE — In warm, sunny weather, the Victorian child was pushed around the block or park in an ornate, wicker buggy. But many children had to forego this pleasure when snow was on the ground. More than two centuries ago, a child’s sleigh solved this problem for a certain Massachusetts family.                

Several years ago, at an antique shop in Hanson, Mass., H. Ingrid Stoelting was attracted to a child’s sleigh and purchased it. She was informed that it had belonged to an affluent family of Hingham, Mass., who had three little girls who delighted in being pushed about in the sleigh. Ingrid recently gifted the Vigo County Historical Museum with this charming antique. During the Christmas holidays, it was displayed with a large Victorian doll wearing a blue velvet coat and hat, seated amid the cushioned interior.

The Bentwood push sleigh was manufactured approximately 200 years ago. It is made of wood, with original paint of dark red. For the child’s comfort, both the back and sides are upholstered in a heavy fabric of beige with designs in red and black, giving it a very posh look and feel. The runners on the sleigh are also made of wood, but covered with iron. It is 31 and 1⁄2 inches in length, 17 inches wide and the handle reaches 38 inches high. The sleigh is in excellent condition, appearing to have no replaced or repaired parts.

The sleigh is a wonderful addition to the Historical Museum’s collection and is expected to grace winter exhibits for many years to come.


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