The beautful hearse was built about 1860 by John Marston of Birmingham. It would have been pulled by two or four black horses wearing plumes attached to their bridles. Their hooves would sometimes have been blackened and polished. At the funeral of a person of high social standing, the mourners followed in procession in vehicles such as Landaus and Broughams. This example has a small cross platform behind the driver's seat which was used for the coffins of babies or small children.
For the Victorians death was an important social ocassion and customs and appearance were very important.