This is one of my favorite found treasures. It stirs thoughts of simple joys. Thoughts of days before television, video games and computers.
I was fortunate to purchase this rather large (9x12) original photograph at a neighborhood sale- although I was sorry the seller had no knowledge of the picture's origin. I was intrigued by everything about this photo, so I decided to do a little digging.
From the late 1800's to the early 1900's it would have been quite normal to see a goat cart
on the streets in a handful of countries around the world. Many families, regardless of class, owned a goat cart (or carriage) for their children to enjoy. The elite goat carts were elaborate vehicles with harnesses made of the finest leather while the poorer classes would have had very basic carts often made from recycled materials with rather rough harness created many times from upholsterers’ jute webbing.The son of Napoleon III and Empress Eugene had an impressive carriage drawn by a white goat, it was the Prince’s favorite toy. There is also a photo of King George V at his wedding (dated 1893) that also shows children seated in a fancy goat carriage.
This photo was taken on the White House lawn in 1891 during President Harrison's administration. The Library of Congress has titled this photo "Baby McKee in his goat cart pulled by Old Whiskers, the family pet goat". Who knew? I certainly did not.
Today, goat carts have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity however, not as they were originally intended. Modern day gardeners covet their antique goat carts as key decor items in exterior designs from Europe to the U.S.
Here, a goat cart on the patio filled with spring flowers. This cart has been lined with a fine chicken wire and filled with moss to hide to pots. It would look great almost anywhere.
This is a simpler, but equally charming use of a cart in the garden. Two large terra cotta pots sitting inside is a very unique way to bring interest to the garden.
Well, this is a cart that has definitely seen better days, but Mr Treasure found it and brought her home. I love it and he has assured me that I too will have a planted cart in the garden very soon. This is very exciting, since I have sold two of these at the shop, hence giving me true sellers remorse. I cannot wait to get her all dolled up.
One last thought about these lovely carts is how seasonally versatile they are. Spring and summer planted with annuals, fall filled with pumpkins & gourds, and the winter holidays filled with pine, holly & potted poinsettias.
Enjoy and happy treasure hunting!