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Antique Horse Hoof Match Holder and Striker by Roland Ward & Co Limited

  • $ 47500


Late 19th century piece of Victoriana. This British mounted horse hoof match holder and striker is a beautiful and rare decorative arts piece. The horses name "Tartine" and his lifespan "1868 1894" is engraved in the brass hinged lid. The top opens to reveal a rough underside for striking and lighting matches and a small compartment for holding them.

The underside of the hoof is encased and the metal is engraved with the makers mark "Roland Ward & Co Limited, The Jungle, 166 Piccadilly". Ward was a well respected taxidermist in the late 19th/early 20th century. In fact he was the Tiffany of taxidermy as the King of England was one of his more famous patrons among many more of the aristocracy. He had earlier revolutionized the way in which animals were to be preserved. Previously they were stuffed unceremoniously with no thought of the movement or true shape of the animal, Ward was the first to really attempt to capture their essence and nature.

I have researched the horse and found there was a horse called Tartine who ran in the 1889 Newmarket races which could potentially be this horse and whilst this would have the horse aged over 20 at the time which seems unlikely. It must be assumed that this horse was held in high esteem by his owners to have retained the services of such an elevated firm of Ward at the time.

This piece of Victoriana was purchased from the estate of the esteemed director Walter Lang.

In 1925, Walter Lang directed his first silent film, The Red Kimono. In the mid-1930s, he was hired by 20th Century Fox where, as a director, he "painted" a number of the spectacular colorful musicals for which Fox Studios became famous for producing during the 1940s. One of Lang's most recognized films is his 1956 epic The King and I for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Directing.

For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Walter Lang has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6520 Hollywood Blvd.


Item measures 5.5“ long by 3.75“ wide by 2.5" tall and weighs 1lb 3.6oz


In good condition with some signs of use commensurate with age, the brass has some staining at the top - I have not attempted to clean it (please see all pictures as they form part of the condition description)

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Condition Disclosure
All our items are vintage/antiques and most have had decades of use. A buyer of vintage objects should assume a baseline of wear. I am always honest and clear in my descriptions and always endeavor to point out any flaws to avoid disappointment but I cannot disclose every minute sign of use on our items as it would be impossible to do so. You should assume these are present unless we specify otherwise here at the beginning of the condition report.

I show all angles of the item on photographs so please review the pictures as they should be considered part of the description. Please ask questions before bidding/buying if you have any concerns, I want you to be completely satisfied with your purchase. Any questions will be answered as quickly as possible. If I have made a mistake in my description I am always happy to rectify this so please do let me know if you believe this is the case.

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