Hershey | Lot 256

1860 Abbott-Downing Stagecoach

Offered from the collection of Jeffrey Day



$330,000 USD | Sold

United States | Hershey, Pennsylvania

10 October 2014

  • Offered from the collection of Jeffrey Day
  • Single ownership since 1971
  • Fully restored by one of the country’s top coach specialists
  • Amazing level of finish and detail throughout

To be drawn by four horses.

In the years before planes, trains, and automobiles crossed the American landscape, citizens traveled by stage—coaches which carried anyone willing to pay the fare between two or more stops (in “stages”), according to a posted schedule.

The Abbott Downing Company, of Concord, New Hampshire, was established in 1813 by J.S. Abbott and Lewis Downing, and it built what would become known as the industry standard in stagecoaches. Within a few years, in fact, the Abbott Downing product became known simply as the “Concord Coach,” of which Mr. Day’s example is a fine survivor.

This example, serial number 130, was one of two stagecoaches ordered by Pattison and Ward, of Kalamazoo, Michigan. They were to be finished in red with russet leather upholstery, a damask top and fringe, and loose leather curtains lined in damask, and they were lettered “Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids – Pattison and Ward” along the top roof rail. Extra dusters and carriers for bags were supplied, along with a step pad for the body and a leather driver’s apron. These original specifications are confirmed by a copy of the original build information on file, as transcribed from the Abbott Downing ledgers, and these also note that the stagecoaches would be “done in 4 weeks sure!”

The Day family purchased this Stagecoach from Thomas Babb, of Edna, Texas, in 1972. It was fully restored by one of the top carriage specialists in the country, with the body and chassis completely returned to their original colors and livery, exactly as specified in 1860. The restoration still presents extremely well, down to the tiniest of details, and its interior is positively opulent in its finishes. Mr. Day notes, “This is an extremely larger-size coach than others, and it has rooftop seating. It is outfitted with its original lamps, pole, and leader bars, as well as its original strongbox inside.”

Please note that this lot is sold on a Bill of Sale.

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