Stanhope phaeton, 1865.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Scale model. Phaetons are named after the son of the Greek god Helios, who was allowed by his father to drive the chariot of the sun acros the heavens for one day, with disastrous consequences. They are light four-wheeled open carriages which were usually drawn by one or two horses. Various modifications of the phaeton were fashionable during the 19th century for pleasure driving, and the vehicles represented a large proportion of English carriages in the 19th century. The Stanhope was first introduced in about 1830 to the design of the Hon Fitzroy Stanhope. It exemplified the trend towards lighter vehicles, could be drawn by one horse, and was regarded as a town carriage for gentlemen.