Recently, my sister and I were shopping in a beautiful furniture store up in Door County, Wisconsin, and the weather turned nasty. With the shopkeeper's permission, we got comfortable on a couch to wait out the rainstorm by looking through our phones. At that moment, my sister got a text from her eighteen-year-old daughter about a horse mystery. And I got an email from my friend Ellen also about a horse mystery.
As we compared our horse mysteries, we looked up to see Mr. Ed eavesdropping (above).
Oh Wilbur! We were startled! Especially when we noticed Mr. Ed's two smaller stablemates, Trigger and Sea Biscuit, gazing straight at our shocked faces (below).
Now, about those mysteries. My sister's daughter had been to a party. Apparently a very large horse portrait hanging in the stairwell of this beautiful home, which by the way was devoid of its owners, went missing. So did the family cat.
Ellen's equine mystery is perhaps less scandalous, but equally interesting.
Last week, after I wrote about online estate sales, Ellen registered with Everything But The House, and purchased a bronze horse figure. The auction house offered little information about Ellen's horse (below), so she dug deep.
Here is what Ellen wrote:
This little horse has so sparked my interest that I felt obliged to bring myself up to snuff in regard to bronze. I've forgotten how fascinating the process and history is. And guess where they found the oldest artifact using an alloy of copper and arsenic... Iran.
So where did my little friend come from? That is the question. My first guess was Roman, or possibly Greek. But then the initials threw me off. The cropped mane would suggest Rome or Greece, but then the tail should also be cropped or tied. However, this little tail has a kind of scallop that looks like a tail that is unbraided. When everything is said and done, it could be a grandson who made a little clay horse that his grandma loved so much, she had it bronzed. I feel I may never know. I'm sure the auction house has knowledgeable people who said it is just a trinket at best. But I can dream, Mithra. Oh how I can dream.
So neither horse mystery has been solved. The provenance of Ellen's sculpture is unknown. And the Iowan horse portrait-stealing hooligans have not been caught.
But the cat? Black Beauty is safely home.
A horse is a horse, of course of course. And if you want your own very special sculptural equine, this pair and their Boho riders is available in the shop.
If you like convoluted stories about old objects told with a bit of humor and some nice photos, you might want to subscribe to my Friday newsletter. More of all this sent to your inbox for a weekend's worth of good reading.