Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
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  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
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  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
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  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy

Antique VICTORIAN 1870s. TAXIDERMY Interest. Silver Plate Horse's Hoof Desk Tidy. Sheffield History Interest

Vendor
Iconic Edinburgh
Regular price
£325.00
Sale price
£325.00
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This is possibly not to everyone's taste - but these at one time were very fashionable items for a gentleman's desk in a country house or mansion. 

Often, when you lost your horse - you would have a foot removed as a souvenir and hand it to a taxidermist - who would transform it into a special piece of memorabilia.

This is an antique and old example dating to 1878 (so now over 140 years old now). It dates to the Victorian age and is very well made. The practice of making novelty desk items continued well into the 20th century - but they were not made with such quality or attention to detail. 

This fine antique example has survived in remarkable condition as you can see in my images - the top of the hoof has a lid section - beautifully fashioned and shaped to fit and echo the natural form - it sweeps down the back of the hoof in a most elegant and streamline shape - and forms a little tail shape. It meets up with the base of the hoof section at the back. 

There is a long hinge along the top of the lid. You lift this up and there is a large u-shaped compartment inside - probably to contain either snuff or pipe tobacco in a gent's drawing-room desk - it is quite a nice size for storing things. 

The lid has an inscription in old copperplate lettering: "Captain" / favorite horse of / Mr Thomas Ward / Handsworth Woodhouse / Died April 1878 / Aged 29 Years. 

So we also have a wee bit of history going with this example:

Handsworth is a suburb of southeast Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England.  It seems that the horse's owner was the founder of an important business specializing in engineering, cement, coal sales - and in the 1870s for ship-breaking. 
There is quite a lengthy Wikipedia entry on Mr. Thomas Ward and his business- which you can read for further interest - but which I won't repeat here.  

It transpires that in 1878 he started his business by driving coal for sale around Sheffield in a horse-drawn cart - there is even an image of him with a horse and cart dated 1878 online. 

Is this "Captain"? 

Certainly - the hoof on offer here is certainly that of a large workhorse. 

The base plate of the hoof has been beautifully finished and completely covered in a thick silver plate - with details of all the anatomical structure revealed. The hoof is an attractive grey tone and is free from splits or cracks. The plate is generally free of any losses. This is really a very fine example and a lot of money has been spent on creating this very special and intimate souvenir of Mr Ward's horse. 

It measures 6 inches in length and 4 3/4 inches across with a height of 3 inches. 

So lots of interesting history goes with this item - and how fabulous for me to have found Mr Ward in Sheffield (Handsworth) and a photograph of him in 1878 with the actual horse. This is a rare find! 

Possibly, this is an item that should really go to a local history department in Sheffield Museum - or to surviving members of the Ward family or business. 

I have taken lots of images of this interesting item. It is priced to take all these details into consideration - after doing my description here. I am actually now in two minds of selling it.. ho hum! It is also a quality item and I suspect that Mr Ward has commissioned the famous taxidermist Rowland Ward to undertake the task of preserving Captain's hoof. The base certainly looks similar to other authenticated pieces by him. 
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