This four-seater carriage radiates a graceful elegance.

The small body, oval-shaped in the lower section, has serene forms and fine proportions, which are enhanced by the plasticity of the gilded wood carving.  The broad band of strict geometrical ornament round the edge of the body creates an impression of lightness. The clear, calmly carved decor includes acanthus leaves, meanders, medallions, antiquated garlands and sculptural is based on rhythmic repetition of the same motif. Symmetry prevails in the ornament. The carving is fine and lacy, executed with great skill. The painting with its refined colour range is in keeping with a fine carved décor. Painting on mythological themes, one of the main elements in the carriage’s artistic treatment, covers almost the whole body. Blossoming and benign nature creates an exquisite landscape background. The painting reveals the mature mastery and fine hand of the artist, whose name is as yet unknown.

There is also lavish use of bronze in the décor. Along the edge of the roof there are bronze ornaments in the form of bunches of stems and an openwork, chased bronze border. Subordinate to the overall composition, they are executed in low relief, finely worked and jewel-like. Nacre appliqués, which form medallions, are used in the artistic décor of the front and back walls and doors. The windows and doors contain well-polished plate glass with a carefully ground facet.  The careful colouring of the interior upholstery and crest is a combination of high-relief gold embroidery (on the walls inside the carriage), fringing and tassels with the red velvet.

The undercarriage is ornamented with a relief and, together with the poles and wheels, densely gilded so that the exquisite silhouette of the glittering gold carriage can be seen from a long way off. A 19th-century Armoury inventory in the archives has helped to establish that originally the whole undercarriage and the wheels were gilded. They acquired their present appearance (painted red) when the carriage was renovated in 1881.

In building the carriage the Parisian master Breighteil made use of the latest technical advanced of his day, namely, laminated semi-elliptical springs, a pole on either side of the body, which greatly reduced bumping and swaying, and an outside step.

The carriage was commissioned for Catherine the Great from Breighteil in 1763, and brought to Russia by a trading agent in 1765. It is known to have been Catherine’s favourite travelling equipage and was used by her for everyday outings.