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.