English Mail Coach

Park Drag,  William G. Tiffany

English Mail Coach Built in England by Lauri and Marner in 1873, this park drag was constructed to the specifications and for the ownership of William George Tiffany (1842-1905) of New York.

The coach was painted like the royal mails fo England with George IV. motif by Mr. William Smith of Darlydale, England.  The drag is a cut under and has a particularly interesting fold down side panel on the near side of the front boot with a ladder for passengers.  A step attached to this side panel ingeniously serves as a handle and step as well as a locking device for the fold-down side panel.

This coach is a follow-on to another coach built by Peters of London in 1868, which had a similar side front mechanism for a ladder and a bed in the front boot.  That coach was taken to Tunis for a tour of North Africa by Mr. Tiffany.

Fairman Rogers (America) in A Manual of Coaching and Edwin Howlett (Paris, France) in Driving Lessons each dedicated their book to Mr. Tiffany, evidencing his close relationship with these great whips and his deep impact on the sport of four-in-hand driving.

English Mail CoachAnother coach, belonging to W.G. Tiffany and known as the “Lightning”, was built by Million Guiet & Company, Paris, in 1892 and is on display at the New York Historical Society Museum in New York (Central Park West at 77th Street; 873-3400).

Although great friends with many of the members of the Coaching Club of America, Mr. Tiffany was never elected to its membership.  In 1872 he became a member of the Coaching Club in London and ran two coaches for hire on the Brighton Road in England.  He was a founding member of the Reunion Road Club in Paris, formed in 1893.

John Richards, Chairman of the British Driving Society, knew the coach well when it was owned by the late William Smith and used it on the road for the regular stagecoach he operated between Darlydale and Bakewell by way of the peacock Hotel in Rowsley.  The coach was purchased for the collection at a charity auction at Woburn Abbey, the seat of the Duke of Bedford, after Mr. Smith’s death, and was subsequently shipped to Texas–exactly one hundred years after it was built.

From the collection of:
Back to Hall of Carriages
Stewart Morris & Stewart Morris, Jr.
Stewart Title  4/92 | File No. A.ZZ | Catalogue No SMC.LM.1
Carriage Journal, Spring 1978, Vol 15, No. 4, pages 377-381, “The Gentleman Coachman, George William Tiffany.”