Antique Royal Mail coach offered at Bonhams

One of the last surviving Royal Mail coaches will be sold at Bonhams' December 10 auction at RAF Hendon.

The coach is numbered 209, but is better known by its nickname - The Quicksilver. It was legendary in its day as the fastest coach on the road.

Quicksilver coach Bonhams
The Quicksilver ran between London and Falmouth in Cornwall

Bonhams explains: "The Quicksilver ran from London to Falmouth and it became the fastest ever Royal Mail Coach, covering the ground at an average speed of just over 10mph.

"This included stops for fresh horses at staging posts, new Guards and Coachmen and delivering the Royal Mail at the main Post Offices along the route.

"The Royal Mail Coaches established an almost legendary status amongst the public, town clocks were set by the arrival of the Mail Coach.

"Guards would be fined by the Post Office if the Coach was a minute late."

This wasn't only the hazard for guards aboard the coach. On one memorable run through Wiltshire in 1816 the horses pulling it were attacked by a lion that had escaped from a local zoo.

The Quicksilver became such a key part of the folk history of the south west that there's even a pub named after it, The Quicksilver Mail in Yeovil.

It's expected to sell for around £50,000-70,000 ($75,332-105,465).

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