‘A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!’ So goes the beseeching line of King Richard III in Shakespeare’s Richard III from 1594. We are certainly fond of horses, and today we have put together an interesting selection of pieces from our collection that feature horses. Dating from as early as the 7th century all the way through the peak of Georgian furniture in the 18th century, have a look through below to see how the horse has been depicted in art.
Last year we looked at the tradition in China of creating terracotta models of horses. Have a look at the previous post on Tang Dynasty terracotta horses, which highlights this expressive model in our collection.
This stunning George II japanned and gilt mirror features a fantastically painted cresting showing men on horseback. The decoration is of the finest quality and recalls the designs of Giles Grendey.
Samuel Howitt’s The Return from the Hunt is centred around horses. The caricature features a number of horses in various positions and stances, and this watercolour was formerly featured in Walker’s Monthly in January 1933.
Last but not least, this charming pair of 19th century brass prancing horse doorstops is a quintessential English country house piece.