About this project

The Abbott & Downing stagecoach represents a revolution in the American commercial transit industry. It is one of the few remaining intact vehicles of its kind left in the world. This stagecoach is owned by the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum in Los Angeles and was produced by the Abbott-Downing Company in the 1850’s.


What we did

The vehicle was delivered to our studio for carriage conservation services and was extensively photo documented prior to treatment. Various aqueous cleaning gels were tested and the accumulations of darkened varnishes were removed. Areas of flaking paint were consolidated using clear, reversible resins. Some areas of decorative paint stripping and scrollwork were missing, but curatorial research from museum staff were able to find other example the matched the lost sections. We were then able to reproduce these elements with reversible paints.

Leather elements were repaired by rehumidifying and reshaping as necessary. Other areas were repaired and stabilized. All iron components were cleaned and corrosion was properly stabilized.

The stagecoach was then packed and returned to the Gene Autry Museum along with a detailed treatment report.



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