Thursday, May 14, 2009

Portland Cutter - An American Classic

We had a few storms roll through last night. We seem to be getting our typical spring around here. Rain that just will not quit. We’ve had that the last few years and of course forget about last year. The rains that left Columbus under water. The Columbus Carriage Classic which is always on Father’s Day Weekend was postponed due to the flooding. I remember inspecting the park days before the show and the stabling area was under six feet of water with a river running right through the middle of the park. I’m hoping things mellow out a little in the weather department.



An American Classic. The Portland Cutter. This is a great specimen. Original paint, upholstery, shafts, shaft chimes and even the original carpet.



The tag reads “Carroll Thompson - Farmington Falls, ME”. Farmington, the County Seat of Franklin County is located in Southern Maine. Today Farmington has a population of about 7,500. During the period of the manufacture of this sleigh it was home to a dozen carriage factories.



I guess calling the Portland Cutter an American Classic is fair enough but when you really look specifically at this piece there is some Canadian influence. At least I think so. Details like the low runners, elongated body and the way the dash comes up in a vertical fashion from the base all seem a bit Canadian to me. That would make sense considering the location of the manufacturer.



The condition is remarkable. I love the upholstery. The bright color mohair and notice the way the fabric is ribbed at the pleats. Those types of workmanship details always catch my eye. The original paint is still very intact along with the skilled pinstriping.



The devil is in the details and I like details like this. Notice the chamfered edge of the dash. More often than not the edge of a dash is just rounded over which in those days would have been much easier.



The original shafts and shaft chimes are still along for the ride. So often that is the first thing to disappear so it’s always special to find one so complete.

I sold this sleigh a few years back to a client from Utah. The poor girl flew up to Wisconsin in the winter and landed here in the middle of one of the best blizzards we had seen in years. She was stuck here for a couple days but she had a great time picking out two sleighs to begin her collection. I delivered this sleigh along with the other that following summer. Through some of the most beautiful mountain scenery I think I have every had the chance to witness. Now that's what I call a fringe benefit.

Best!
Todd

27 comments:

Charles Leck said...

Todd, I want you to know I'm a "blognut"... an absolute freakin' "blognut"... if you come to my blog you know that... I follow dozens and dozens of wonderful blogs... so, I feel somewhat like an expert on blogs... and I want to tell you that your blog is really wonderful. I wouldn't miss it -- even when its far too technical for me, it's really good stuff. Thanks for putting this blog up on the web and thanks for taking the time to write it. GREAT STUFF! Chas

Toddersville said...

Wow. Thanks Charlie I really apreciate that. Especially from a blognut! It's been fun. I just hope I can keep coming up with halfway interesting material everyday.

Best!
T

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