This two-seater summer carriage, an exquisite artistic creation, is one of the specimens of its kind. The highly elegant body is in the form of an Italian gondola. It is topped by a smoothly curved roof. The door consists of a folding front section, or ‘apron’, with an attractive top. The carriage is a perfect combination of all its individual parts. The décor too radiates a noble beauty and splendour. The use of high-relief gilt carving and sculptural groups produces an extremely elegant ornament. Carved and gilded laurel and oak branches and serene flower garland, arranged with great taste and sense of proportion, frame the lightly curved cornice, walls and folding ‘apron’. They give the carriage an elegant lightness and harmony. Fine carving and exquisite sculptural groups adorn the front and back of the undercarriage and axle-pivot. The coachbox is supported by carved eagles with outspread wings; figures of horsemen in helmets and armour with spears шт their hands are attached to the back of the undercarriage. 18th-century reports from the Court Stables Chancellery state that these figures were made in Russia in the early 1770s. The footboard is shaped like a large open shell formed by acanthus leaves. It decorates an essential element in the carriage’s construction, the place for the footmen.

The spoke of the wheels are fluted and intertwined with ribbons. The gracefully curved poles are also decorated with fluted carving and ribbons. Rubber tyres were put on the wheels in the 19th century. The carvers exploited the decorative potential of maplewood to the full. The carved ornament, which took them almost two years to complete, is executed so skilfully that the thick layer of gilt look like fine metal casting. The play of light on the surface and the combination of shining, matt and green-painted gold creates an attractive iridescent gamma and enhances the artistic effect. The walls of the carriage are painted oil with scenes on mythological subjects. On the back we find Apollo and the muses, based on Raphael’s prototype. The side walls have Amphitrite with her retinue and the goddess of happiness and success, Fortuna, at the feet of the seated woman. The whole composition is lively, natural and full of movement. The predominant colours are greens and reds. The quality of the painting by this unknown artist enables us to say that he was a great master. The top of the folding ‘apron’ was painted in Russia in the 1770s with military attributes and baskets of flowers.

The interior upholstery of green velvet with gold lace and the sumptuous crest with ‘rainbow’ gathers emphasize even more the carriage’s artistic merits.

The form and décor of the wheels reveal features of two styles: Rococo and Classicism, which to a certain extent were characteristic of the English carriage in the 1770s. There is reason to believe that the carriage was made in London from designs by S. Buttler and I. Linell, famous carriage-builders.  It has a pole on either side of the body, an axle-pivot and horizontal laminated springs. The step is outside.

There is a unique charm in the carriage, which was intended for use in the warm time of the year. At the same time, its appearance is also in keeping with the ceremonial nature of its function.

Memoirs of the day contain references to drives in it by Empress Catherine the Great and her close friend Countess P.S. Bruce.

The carriage was commissioned by Count Grigory Orlov as a present for Empress Catherine.