Artisans Program

Accurate historic restoration is only possible if craftsmen are able to reproduce the techniques employed by original builders. Traditional methods have been handed from one generation to the next through apprenticeship as the continued success of preservation efforts depends upon training.

French Heritage Society has developed a program that offers craftsmen in various fields the opportunity to perfect their skills. As part of this select program, the Carriage Museum at Versailles hosted an American specialist in 18th-century carriages for extensive restorations of its collection over a number of years.

Artisan at Versailles, Musée des Carosses

artisan_augerson-restoring-carriageFrench Heritage Society, with the support of the Florence Gould Foundation, funded from 1997 to 2004, a major project to restore 18th-century carriages and sleighs in the Musée des Carosses at Versailles.

Founded by Louis Philippe in 1851 and housed in the Grandes Ecuries of the château, this is one of the most significant collections of historic royal carriages in the world.

An American specialist, Christopher Augerson, was entrusted with the restoration and maintenance of the collection. He and his team have completed the repair and refurbishment of six sleighs and one royal carriage. French Heritage Society contributed more than $200,000 to this project.

The Leopard Sleigh before restoration
The Leopard Sleigh during restoration