This splendid equipage was presented to Empress Elizaveta Petrovna by Kirill Razumovskiy in 1754. Brother to the Empress’s favourite Alexey Razumovskiy, Kirill Razumovskiy was under her patronage. He was granted the Count title in 1744, then became the President of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences in 1746 and appointed Hetman of Ukraine in 1750.

The carriage is a four-seater. The body narrows towards the base and the lower section of the front and back walls is curved. There are five windows on the front and side walls. The windows and upper part of the doors with a figured top section contain plate glass. The doors are low and the folding step is inside.

A splendid and entirely gilded carriage is naturally considered as one of the best specimens of the Rococo-style equipages, which remains unrivalled through the world. A group of recognized French masters worked on the creation of such an extraordinary conveyance. The design of the spectacular form of the carriage is elaborated by French architect Nicolas Pineau. On its basis, master Drillerosse executed the equipage and decorated it with magnificent gilded carving. Panel paintings were created by famous French artist Francois Bouchet.

In designing this unique carriage Nicholas Pineau sought to give its form not only opulence, but also a solemn majesty ‘ such as befits the empress of a vast state’.

He increased the dimensions to the utmost, paying special attention to the effective décor in which gilded wood carving of unusually rich plasticity is the dominant element. His design was embodied by the brilliant carriage-builder and decorator A. Drillerosse, who proved to be a first-class master in many arts.

The large asymmetrical scrolls, shells and flowers, which reveal the master’s tireless fantasy in the décor, are subject to the overall composition. Their whimsically curved lines resemble the crests of waves. The rhythmically arranged scrolls, shells and smoothly curving stems of flowers, which form a single whole, fit in well with the carriage silhouette and give it a plastic perfection. All the constructional parts are adorned with decorative carving: the stems on the wall-joints, the window surrounds and door frames. The high-relief carving is gilded, the low-relief barely visible. The richest carving is concentrated on the upper section of the carriage, thanks to which the high relief can be appreciated from any angle.

The extensive surface of the front and back of the undercarriage and the shaft are decorated with a high-relief pattern of large scrolls. The gilded carving on the wheels stands out clearly against the crimson background. The master chose maple as the material for the carved décor, making skilful use of its softness and porosity to create a complex plastic pattern that almost seems to be moulded. Here the skill of the carvers is very obvious, for maple is difficult to work, and the slightest mistaken movement leaves a mark on it. One of the carved details bears the mark ‘A’Drillerosse’, the name of the master who built the carriage.

Bronze plays an important part in the décor. The bronze relief plates which cover the springs with figures of putti frolicking amid waves and flowers are particularly interesting. The putti are very dynamic and not at all restrained or conventional, while the flowers are worked in considerable detail. The bronze ornament forms separate compositions and blends in well with the overall décor. There is reason to believe that it was made in the workshop of famous gilder and chaser, Philippe Caffieri, sculptor to King Louis XV.

The smooth, wavelike rhythm of the bronze ornament and the wood carving is combined with the rocaille nature of the painting, which belongs to the brush of François Boucher. Each panel on the sides and doors resemble of a pictorial panel in an elaborate rocaille frame. The painting on mythological subjects is characteristic by asymmetry, gentle lines, abundance of detail, coquettish grace in the putti’s movements and fine colour combinations. The expressive figures of putti seem to radiate a gentle light which makes the whole composition warm and joyful. The colour range consists mainly of pale blues and pinks. These gentle pastel tones give the carriage a special elegance. There is a beautiful relief gold-embroidered pattern on the crimson velvet interior upholstery and crest.

The carriage is equipped with the latest technical features, namely springs, an advanced axle-pivot and a crane-neck and has a box for the coachman.

The carriage bears the stamp of Rococo, although features of a new style, Classicism, has begun to appear in the décor of Parisian carriages of this time. Their form was more serene and the carving finer. It is possible that the carriage was decorated in Rococo style on instructions from a Russian client, because this style was becoming the height of fashion in Russia.