Offered by: Mayfair Gallery
39 South Audley Street London W1K 2PP , England Call Seller 44.207.491.3435


Silver and onyx horse racing sculpture by Mappin and Webb

$ 150,000
  • Description
    Silver and onyx horse racing sculpture by Mappin and Webb
    English, 1935
    Height 39cm, width 62cm, depth 33cm
    Commissioned by H.H. Maharaja of Rajpipla Vijaysinhji Chhatrasinhji G.B.E. K.C.S.I. (1890-1951), this impressive silver and onyx sculpture showcases the moment when the Maharaja’s horse won the 1934 Epsom Derby. Expertly crafted by Mappin and Webb, the English luxury silver makers, this highest-quality sculpture took 12 months to make. Once completed, its outstanding finish and design were admired by many at numerous exhibitions.
    Three racing horses with their jockeys are the focal points of this piece. The first horse called Windsor Lad (nr 14) is the Maharaja’s pride and joy. Trained by Marcus Maskell Marsh, he won the Derby in two minutes and thirty-four seconds, equalling the previous year’s record. At the time, the Times of India acclaimed that ‘By winning the Newmarket Stakes and the Derby, Windsor Lad has performed a feat which very few have done before – only eight others have done it since 1899’. Such a statement further emphasises the prestige and ability of the Maharaja’s horse. Behind Windsor Lad are Easton (nr 18) and Colombo (nr 7).
    Superb attention to detail has been paid to this very realistic racing scene. Incredible details can be observed, for example, all over the horses’ bodies where even their veins and the strain on their muscles have been replicated by the skilled craftsmen at Mappin and Webb. The jockeys are also very well cast, their facial expressions further emphasizing the importance of the race.
    Behind the three horses is gating with the finishing post which Windsor Lad is the first to cross. The race participants are galloping on grass brilliantly recreated by the textured silver.
    A stepped onyx plinth supports the incredible silver sculpture, its green colouration making the silver stand out. A plaque is mounted in the centre, the inscription reading: 'WINDSOR LAD WINNING THE DERBY STAKES 1934/ FROM EASTON & COLOMBO/ RIDDEN BY C. SMIRKE/ TRAINED BY M. MARSH/ OWNERS/ H. H. THE MAHARAJA OF RAJPIPLA'. The piece is fully marked.
    The Maharaja of Rajpipla was an avid horse rider and polo player, making the win of Windsor Lad a very important event to him which he wanted to freeze in time in this English sculpture. In November 1935, not long after the sculpture was presented to the Maharaja, The Times published an article stating the following ‘Mappin and Webb, Oxford Street...have just completed an unusual silver trophy for the Maharajah of Rajpipla. It shows the finish of the Derby in 1934, with Windsor Lad winning, and is a most realistic and beautiful piece of modelling. The infinite trouble and patience needed to get the exact expressions of both horses and jockeys and to reproduce their characteristic movements has resulted in a unique piece which should prove a treasured memento to the Maharajah, who at the time owned this unbeaten three-year-old.’
    Immortalising a historic horse racing event, this wonderful sculpture would make an outstanding addition to the collection of anyone interested in equestrian-themed pieces.
    Commissioned by H.H. Maharaja of Rajpipla, Vijaysinhji Chhatrasinhji G.B.E. K.C.S.I. from Mappin and Webb Limited in 1934, then by descent until December 2012, when acquired by the previous owner.
    - A. Watson, The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, 'Rapier on Racing', 22 November 1935, pp. 386, illustrated.
    - The Times, 'Round the Shops', 18 November 1935, p. 21, column d.
    Artist/Maker: Mappin & Webb
  • More Information
    Documentation: Signed
    Origin: England
    Period: 1920-1949
    Materials: Onyx, silver.
    Creation Date: 1935
    Styles / Movements: Art Deco, Modern
    Dealer Reference #: 17540
    Incollect Reference #: 697721
  • Dimensions
    W. 24.41 in; H. 15.35 in; D. 12.99 in;
    W. 62 cm; H. 39 cm; D. 33 cm;
Message from Seller:

Mayfair Gallery is a leading gallery in the field of art and antiques, holding a large collection of unique pieces for sale. The breadth of the gallery’s collection is wide, and includes items from a range of periods, styles and geographical origins, as well as works by famous artists and craftsmen. The main focus of the gallery’s collection is, however, on items produced during the 19th and early 20th century.

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