Rare Antique 19th C. Caretto Sicilian Hand Carved & Painted Donkey Horse Cart
The Sicilian cart (or carretto siciliano in Italian and carrettu sicilianu in Sicilian) is an ornate, colorful style of horse or donkey-drawn cart native to the island of Sicily, in Italy. The cart has always been the symbol of Sicily and its traditions. The Sicilian cart, just like every working tool, is closely related to the historical and economic history of the island. The most ancient form of cart is called “stràscinu” or “stràula”, a primitive cart without wheels (like a sled) that is still in use for the transportation of haycocks in the inner areas of Sicily.
The history of the Sicilian cart goes back to the early nineteenth century. The bourbon government in 1830 opened big roads for communication for military reasons. Those were enlarged natural tracks with very steep hills and road elbows, with holes and subjected to landslides. That is why the Sicilian cart was created: with very high wheels it was able to overcome the obstacles on those roads.
Horses were mostly used in the city and flat plains, while donkeys or mules were more often used in rough terrain for hauling heavy loads. Carts were used for hauling miscellaneous light loads, such as produce, wood, wine, and people, called “Carretto del Lavoro” (cart for work) and also carts for festive occasions such as weddings and parades called “Carretto de Gara’. The Carretto is like the ‘taxi’ or ‘truck’ of today.
This beautiful cart features a hand painted Ottoman Empire fighting scene throughout with amazing attention to detail. Includes carvings, metal work and hand painted accents.
Will be Hand Delivered via White Glove Service
The Caretto is in good antique condition. One of the wheel threads was replaced with a fabricated one. When in reverse it some times falls off. In addition There is some splitting to the wood. See Pictures for best description
Level - 74" x 44" x 36"
(L x W x H)
Height Leaning (Handles Up) - 57"
Height Leaning (Handles Down) - 41"