p. chaise



A chaise, sometimes called chay or shay, was a formerly popular, light two- or four-wheeled traveling or pleasure carriage, usually of a chair-backed type, with a movable hood or calash top. The name came from the French for chair, through a transference from a sedan-chair to a wheeled vehicle. The two-wheeled version, for one or two persons, also called a gig or one-horse shay, had a body hung on leather straps or thorough-braces and was usually drawn by one horse; a light chaise having two seats was a double chair . The four-wheeled pleasure carriage type was similar. The term chaise was also used for any light carriage or pleasure cart.

The post-chaise was a fast carriage for traveling post in the 18th and early 19th centuries. It usually had a closed body on four wheels, sat two to four persons, and was drawn by two or four horses. The driver, especially when there was no coachman, rode postillion on the near horse of a pair or of one of the pairs attached to the post-chaise.

Another term for a chaise was chair, also called riding chair. A bath chair was a hooded and sometimes glassed wheeled chair used especially by invalids; it could be drawn by a horse or pushed by an attendant.

Other types of chaise included:

  • calesín: small, one-horse, hooded, a seat behind for the driver, used in the Philippines
  • curricle: two-wheeled, usually drawn by two horses
  • shandrydan or shandradan: with a hood


The Casanova Tour - by Pablo Günther - Travelling Carriages - Casanova Magazine. Illustrations and text.

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