Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Putting the Cart Before the Horse


I had a very evening nice evening out with two friends I hadn’t seen for a while, Sara told me that the  Beyond Limits sculpture exhibition at Chatsworth House is ready to roll, I must go, I’ve been before (remember the floating baby?) and very much enjoyed myself.

Sara is a big fan of horses (not a hobby for me, too much faffing  around for my liking, almost as much as sailing, and just as expensive) so I’m posting these photos for Sara, I took them at Snape Maltings in Suffolk the other week. The sculptor is Sarah Lucas

Perceval 5-1

The horse is life sized the concrete marrows are not, here is the detail,


The horse for me was a flash back to the china Beswick horses of my childhood, back then I did aspire to own a horse, as it was I only had the ceramic variety galloping across the sill of my bedroom window; I was always breaking the legs off them and my dad used to stick them back together in a  complex ritual that involved, two tubes of Araldite glue and some matchsticks. Dad was very talented with all thing mechanical, the aesthetics of adhesives however were not his forte

Perceval 3-1

How you get painted concrete to this sort of a finish is a mystery to me, although I’m dammed sure it’s not Dulux paint.

Perceval 2-1

I went off and searched for Beswick china animals, and was surprised at their value to collectors,one of my mothers friends has cabinet full of the things, bulls, cows, pheasants dogs and foxes, a  dust harbouring rural menagerie. In fact she inherited some more from an ‘elderly relative’ just a few weeks ago (not bad, when the friend herself is in mid 80’s) they were a bit grubby, so she carefully washed them, one, a shire horse with a striking resemblance to the horse above, was immersed in warm sudsy water and all four legs fell off. So there is the explanation as to their value,

Perceval 4-1

I assume it is only horses with a leg at each corner that bring a pretty penny.

Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

8 thoughts on “Putting the Cart Before the Horse

  1. hello mrs uphilldowndale, yes, last nite was lovely and good to see you after so long! i love the shire horse, can’t beleive its made of concrete, its got a nice shiny finish hasn’t it, just hoping my ruby has such a finish when i show her on monday at woodford. i also followed your link to the floating baby – looks very unusual. have a good bank holiday weekend, hope you like my pics i sent you. Sara.

  2. Strange -only yesterday, I noticed a Beswick horse for sale in a charity shop window (for £39, looks like a bargain if that link is anything to go by) and here you are blogging about them

  3. WOW! What is it about bronze sculptures? SO wonderful. I LOVE hares, see a few about – a tad heavy to take home on the motorbike! lol!

  4. oooh, my mum had a few of them (with Araldite-repaired legs as well!!). I remember Dad glueing many an ornament with that stuff after a too rumbunctious episode in the living room.

  5. The whole sculpture is wonderful, and reminds me, too, of the china figurines of my childhood, but that glossy finish on the horse is compelling. I wonder if the sculptor used a variety of automotive paint, applied with an industrial airbrush at a body shop? I can see it now. “I’d like to bring in a horse for a paint job.”

    I love seeing it out in the field like that. There are so many places here where I’d like to put something similar. But only one place should have it.

    I hope the sculptor has seen these images. They are very fine indeed.

  6. A most interesting, and informative, post! xx

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