ANTIQUE IVORY MODEL OF IRISH JAUNTING CAR BY KIDDIE
A delightful ivory model of an Irish jaunting car being pulled by a horse, showing fine attention to detail to both the horse and the car and showcasing Kiddie’s ability in carving a range of subjects, standing on an ivory floor onto a velvet lined plinth, with a descriptive plaque, all on a mahogany base with a mahogany framed glass case.
This model was completed at the same time as the Recreation Hall which was being built by A W Kiddie’s son and would suggest that A W Kiddie visited Ireland during the construction and was inspired to make this lovely model on his return.
A jaunting-car is a light two-wheeled carriage for a single horse, in its most common form with seats for two or four persons placed back to back, with the foot-boards projecting over the wheels. It was the typical conveyance for persons in Ireland at one time.
The first part of the word is generally taken to be identical with the verb to jaunt, now only used in the sense of to go on a short pleasure excursion, but in its earliest uses meaning to make a horse caracole or prance, hence to jolt or bump up and down. It would apparently be a variant of jaunce, of the same meaning, which is supposed to be taken from old French jancer.
It was a popular mode of transportation in 19th Century Dublin popularized by Valentine Vousden in a song by that name. Jaunting cars remain in use for tourists in some parts of the country, notably Killarney where tours of the lakes and national park are popular.
To see the autobiography of A W Kiddie, click here