Towering bronze horse heads to go under hammer in Britain

The two horse-head bronzes being offered at the sale each stand 3.2 metres high.
The two horse-head bronzes being offered at the sale each stand 3.2 metres high.

Eighteen horse-related bronzes, including two monumental equine heads that each stand 3.2 metres high, are to be auctioned in Britain this month.

The other giant horse-head bronze to go under the hammer.
The other giant horse-head bronze to go under the hammer.

The bronzes featured around Camden Lock in London, which is now famous for its market. Indeed, the market is the fourth most popular visitors’ attraction in the city, attracting about 100,000 visitors each weekend.

However, the area used to be known for the Pickford horse stables and horse hospital until the Regent’s Canal was no longer used to transport goods on barges in the early 1970s.

To commemorate the origins of the market, the owners commissioned a number of bronzes, mainly depicting horses and those working with them, to be installed around the market and in market halls in the 1990s.

Some of these life-sized bronzes will now be sold at auction in Summers Place Auction’s live sale, Sculpture and Design for the House and Garden, on October 21. Some other items from the market are being offered in a sealed bid sale which closes the next day.

In all, 18 bronzes and statues will be included in the live sale.

The auction house describes the two monumental horse’s heads, both about 3.2 metres high and 3.7 metres wide, as the sale highlights. They are being sold as individual lots, with an estimate of £15,000 to £25,000 each.

Also included in the sale is a bronze stallion which stands more than 2 metres high. Its pre-auction estimate is £5000 to £8000.

A farrier at work.
A farrier at work.

There are various bronze groups depicting how blacksmiths, grooms and farriers used to work with the horses. Most of them stand around 2 metres high, with pre-auction estimates ranging from £3000 to £25,000.

They are being sold due to redevelopment of the market.

James Rylands, auctioneer and co-director of Summers Place Auctions, said the company was delighted to be offering the pieces.

“The life-sized bronzes will no doubt appeal to anyone who loves horses, but for many Camden fans, this could also be an opportunity to own a little bit of Camden Lock’s history and bring back great memories of many visits to the market.”

Summers Place Auctions is the world’s leading auctioneers of garden statuary and fossil decoration.

Viewing times: Friday 17th to Monday 20th October 10am to 4pm and on the morning of the sale, or by appointment at Summers Place Auctions, The Walled Garden, Billingshurst, West Sussex, RH14 9AB. The catalogue will be available a month before the sale and will be fully illustrated on the company’s website.

One of the lots to be sold.
One of the lots to be sold.

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