While pondering the question of stairs or no stairs in The Silk Weaver's House, I decided to work on a little something that has been lurking in the stash for a number of years.
I bought this Sedan Chair at Miniatura a long time ago. I don't know why - it didn't relate to anything I was working on at the time but I liked it and now that I have a property of the correct period, I thought I'd dress it up a bit.
*In 1634 the Sedan Chair was introduced into London as a cheaper alternative to the Hackney Cab, popular too because of its ability to pass through the narrow streets.
They were carried by individuals known as "Chairmen" and it was helpful if you weren't prone to motion sickness as they swayed and bounced when travelling at speed.
They were popular with the gentry as travelling in this fashion enabled them to keep their shoes clean.
They were also very popular in Edinburgh's Old Town again where carriages weren't able to travel due to the narrow streets ("closes").
They were legally permitted to travel on the pavement with the Chairmen shouting "Have a care" or "By your leave" although this didn't always work out well and occasionally chairs tipped over.
Chairmen were licensed and Sedan Chair stations were set up allowing travellers to hire a chair. They were available all day but from midnight the fare was doubled. After dark they would be accompanied by "link boys" or torch bearers.
The very wealthy would keep their own Chair, decorated to reflect the décor of their homes and kept in the hallway.
As cities grew bigger, travel by Chair became impossible and by the mid 19th century it had virtually disappeared from the streets.
*Taken from an article The Sedan Chair by Ellen Castelow, Historic UK.