Various phaetons, termed George IV Phaetons (George the Fourth) were manufactured by many builders in both England and America. The term begs for some explanation. The basic design was copied from a carriage that was originally made for King George IV of England in 1824. The King was then elderly and, shall we say, quite rotund. He still wanted to drive his own carriage on occasion and asked that one be built that would allow him easy entry. As ladies began to drive more commonly this design appealed to them because of this ease of access. After a time, carriages of this design-type were often referred to as Ladies Phaetons.
This particular carriage, by the French Carriage Company, of Boston, Massachusetts, was probably built sometime at the turn of the century. Because of its wicker body it was intended for summer use and the folding parasol top could be added to provide protection from the sun. There are no lamp brackets included on this carriage because it was intended to be driven during daylight hours.