I have a spot on my wall that needs filling with some kind of artwork. I have my race-horse statue trophy that my horse earned 30 years ago on the antique ice chest that also has a reproduction bronze-colored arts and crafts lamp on it. I need something copper, brass or bronze on the wall to set it off. My room is decorated in the craftsman-style but I have that one small area that I want to be my horse area. I’ve never lost my love of horses. I wanted my sister’s horse-head copper or copper-plated picture that I fell in love with more than 30 years ago. I only saw it once. But I loved it. It belonged to her late husband’s grandparents that raced quarter horses in the 30s, 40s and 50s in the Los Angeles area and had many winners. I emailed her and made a substantial offer for it if she still had it. Her daughter that lives near her had it in storage. It has been in storage since before the family moved to WA about 15 years ago and my sister passed it on to her and it never made it out of a storage box.
The daughter agreed to sell it to me but the frame on the picture was broken and the copper was very dirty. I told her NOT to clean it at all. I wanted the patina still on it.
Then my sister emailed me saying she saw a picture on eBay exactly like the one I was buying from them and so far it was selling for 99 cents. What!!??? I already made a big offer for theirs. I looked at it on eBay and I was a little stunned because I actually didn’t like the one on eBay. It wasn’t what I thought I remembered and I remembered it being much larger. How was I going to back out of this now? I wouldn’t though I’m sure they would have understood especially if one was going so cheap on eBay. I was a bit bummed. Maybe it looked better in person.
My niece found the picture in storage and sent a couple of photos to me. I was so relieved. It was very pretty. (See photos below) It was also not the same as the one my sister thought it was on eBay (she hadn’t seen it in so many years she forgot what it looked like.) The detail is amazing and I’m very happy now regardless of what it may be worth. It is just what I wanted. I have to find a frame for it when I get it, which probably won’t be until after New Years.
I spent quite a number of hours trying to research who made this picture because my niece said there was no signature on it. I thought it is Philip Di Napoli but now I found out that Gladys Brown also made some large Bas relief artwork. It may not be from either of them. It does remind me of a Saddlebred horse in parade gear. Bridle has a frentera. If anyone is a collector of metal horses and has an opinion on what mine is, I’d appreciate you commenting. One thing I have noticed spending all that time researching these type of items, metal horses and horse heads, is there are a lot of cheap knock-offs even back in the vintage years just like there are of the pottery collectibles. They have little or no detail from all the times they have made molds from molds and each time it loses detail and loses the graceful original form and detail. When you come across a really good one, like the first ones these artists put out, they are expensive. You are most likely not going to find a really good one cheap. Not many will escape the collectors’ eyes.