9-10 October 2014

Offered from the collection of Jeffrey Day

Previous Next

Lot 256

1860 Abbott-Downing Stagecoach

Sold for $330,000

To be drawn by four horses.

  • Offered from the collection of Jeffrey Day
  • Single ownership since 1971
  • Fully restored by one of the country’s top coach specialists
  • Amazing level of finish and detail throughout

In the years before planes, trains, and automobiles crossed the American landscape, citizens traveled by stage—coaches which carried anyone willing to pay the fare between two or more stops (in “stages”), according to a posted schedule.

The Abbott Downing Company, of Concord, New Hampshire, was established in 1813 by J.S. Abbott and Lewis Downing, and it built what would become known as the industry standard in stagecoaches. Within a few years, in fact, the Abbott Downing product became known simply as the “Concord Coach,” of which Mr. Day’s example is a fine survivor.

This example, serial number 130, was one of two stagecoaches ordered by Pattison and Ward, of Kalamazoo, Michigan. They were to be finished in red with russet leather upholstery, a damask top and fringe, and loose leather curtains lined in damask, and they were lettered “Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids – Pattison and Ward” along the top roof rail. Extra dusters and carriers for bags were supplied, along with a step pad for the body and a leather driver’s apron. These original specifications are confirmed by a copy of the original build information on file, as transcribed from the Abbott Downing ledgers, and these also note that the stagecoaches would be “done in 4 weeks sure!”

The Day family purchased this Stagecoach from Thomas Babb, of Edna, Texas, in 1972. It was fully restored by one of the top carriage specialists in the country, with the body and chassis completely returned to their original colors and livery, exactly as specified in 1860. The restoration still presents extremely well, down to the tiniest of details, and its interior is positively opulent in its finishes. Mr. Day notes, “This is an extremely larger-size coach than others, and it has rooftop seating. It is outfitted with its original lamps, pole, and leader bars, as well as its original strongbox inside.”

Please note that this lot is sold on a Bill of Sale.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver


+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat


+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht


+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig


+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose


+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould


+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry


+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut


+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin


+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher


+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden


+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more