1868/9 Michaux Velocipede
Dating from late 1868 or early 1869, this Michaux Velocipede is in wonderfully original condition. The only non-original parts of the bicycle are one section of rim and one spoke to the front wheel, and the leather cord for the brake has been replaced. Quite a lot of the original black paint is intact showing clearly the details of the decorations and red lining. It has beautifully figured rosewood handles, possibly an optional extra. The spring top oilers, often missing, are present and provide constant lubrication to the front wheel bearings ( see detail below ) Even the original wooden rollers for the brake cord are intact, as is the wooden wedge beneath the saddle and some fragments of the original pigskin for the saddle. The beautiful bronze pedals are counter-weighted to present the pedal in the right position for the riders heel at all times. The machine is in one of the rare smallest sizes, having a 33 inch front wheel. Copied by many, the machines constructed by Michaux & Cie. were rarely matched for quality and elegance of construction. For me this is the bicycle as sculpture, and the beautiful silhouette of this particular Michaux greets us every morning since it lives in our bedroom!
Click on image for large scale detailed view