Both came for sale from the Jacobean manor house Julians Park in Hertfordshire and the family of Audrey Pleydell-Bouverie – one of the aristocratic Bright Young Things who lit up the London gossip columns in the hedonistic interlude between the wars.
It was after her second marriage to the American department-store heir Marshall Field III had failed that she returned to London and in 1936 bought The Holme, the landmark villa in Regent’s Park, which she had remodelled in the Vogue Regency style by the interior designer Stéphane Boudin. This 17in (43cm) high horse and another of the same form with blue sponging were photographed there in the library by Cecil Beaton, c.1937.
These are always hugely desirable objects, typically priced at auction at something between £15,000-25,000, but this duo did considerably better. Pitched at £10,000-15,000 each, the marginally smaller model in blue took £35,000 and the example shown above a punchy £36,000.