Also known as Kruger (the last pony to work at Chatterley Whitfield pit in Staffordshire until his retirement in 1931), it was modelled by chief designer Graham Tongue to commemorate the Princess Royal’s 1987 visit to Chatterley Whitfield Mining Museum.
Officially, only four of the 9½in (24cm) high figures were made at the Longton factory. The original was presented to Princess Anne; a second sold at auction at £2750 in 1994, a third set a £9500 record for Beswick at Bonhams in 2003 and a fourth, consigned to Peter Wilson’s Nantwich rooms two years later, made £8500.
When another model was offered at Peter Wilson (20% buyer’s premium) on September 13, collectors assumed it was the 1995 horse making a return.
In fact, it was a previously unknown example which arrived from a deceased estate. Specialist Chris Large at the Cheshire rooms explained that it was common practice at Beswick to make a few spares of special limited-edition models to use as replacements if a display piece was dropped.
The September horse may well have been one of these but it was the general fall away in prices for Beswick since the 1990s which accounted for the £4000-5000 estimate. It proved just about spot on when Kruger sold to a collector at £4700.