Thomas del Mar’s second sale of items from the John Woodman Higgins Armory Collection on May 7 included a number of related items, such as this 3ft 7in (1.1m) high panted limestone carving of St Eligius or Eloi, patron saint of horses and farriers.
Though some assumed that the figure was once part of a larger
group including a horse, the statue illustrates one of the popular
episodes from the life of the resourceful saint, who discovered an
ingenious work-around when it came to shoeing a vicious stallion
possessed by the devil. He simply cut off the leg, fitted the shoe
and then stuck it on again.
He proved popular in the saleroom, too, selling for £17,000
against an estimate in the low thousands.
Antiques Trade Gazette is the weekly bible of the fine art and antiques industry. Read articles like this every week in the Antiques Trade Gazette or ATG app. Click here to subscribe today.