Saturday 10 June 2023

Carved Wooden Statue of an Horse with Jamb Antiques.


A Carved Wooden Statue of an Horse 

with Jamb Antiques of Pimlico Road, London.

June 2023.

Post in preparation.

An excerpt from "Ancient topography of London; containing not only views of buildings which in many instances no longer exist, and for the most part were never before published; but some account of places and customs either unknown, or overlooked by the London historians"

John Thomas Smith, 1766-1833.    Published 1810. at Great Mays Buildings, St Martin's Lane.

"The next public carving in wood, of which I have been able to obtain any account, was the state Coach of Queen Anne. It was extremely heavy in its ornaments, but the pannels were beautifully painted by Sir James Thornhill. 

A friend of mine, Mr. Renton, is in possession of a part of one. The Earl of Carlisle, who did me the honour to shew me a representation of this coach, most excellently painted by Marco Ricci, has liberally given me permission to make an etching of it. This coach served Kings George the First and Second, and was used by our present King, when he first went to the House of Lords, and also on his marriage ; after which it was broken up; and Sir William Chambers recommended the late Joseph Wilton, Esq. R. A. and Mr. Pugello, to conduct the building of the present carriage, which was executed on the scite of the late Mr. Malone’s house in Queen Anne Street East, and is certainly in many parts highly deserving notice. 

The model was made from Sir William’s design by Lawrence Anderson Holme, a Dane, who in 1765 gained a premium from the Society of Arts of £147/. for the best statue in marble. The greatest part of the carving of the coach was executed by Nicholas Collett, a little man, and, from his superior abilities, was honoured by Mr. Waldron the actor, with the characteristic epithet of a“ Garrick of a carver.” (Mr. Waldron was originally a wood-carver.) 

Mr. Cipriani painted the pannels, and received the sum of £800/ for his performance. The bill for the coach was £9,000/., but it was taxed, and the real cost was £7,564/. 4v. 4 \d .; the odd pence arose from the ribbon-weaver’s bill. It was first used Nov. 15, 1762.


Mr. Collett was employed to carve a Horse for the late Mr. Hatchett, of Long Acre, as large as the life, for the purpose of shewing harness upon; and this he modelled by actual measurement, from one of the King’s Hanoverian stud, called Beauty. He also carved a portrait of the same animal, for the armory in the Tower of London. 

It stands by the figures of Queen Elizabeth and her Black Page, whose faces and hands were carved in wood by the same artist.

 Mr. Collett was born in Plumbtree-street, died 10th March, 1804, in Queen-street, Seven Dials, and was buried in the South Church-yard of St. Giles in the Fields, aged 76 years.

I received many of the above particulars from the artist’s son, Mr William Collett, who is also a wood-carver".

For the Equestrian statues and the Line of Kings at the Tower of London see -


Brief Biog of Nicholas Collett.

William Collett was a close friend of Thomas Gainsborough. His subjects ‘were chiefly selected from the domestic animal fables of Aesop, and now and then to be met with in the tablets of chimneypieces.’ One such was often repeated: ‘a shepherd’s boy, eating his dinner amidst his flock, under the shade of a tree, with his dog begging by his side’ (Builder 1854, 72).

Literary References: Marsden and Hardy 2001, 6, 12 fn 31, 33

I think that the two Colletts were confused with each other in this article.

The subject matter of this tablet  appears frequently on the chimneypieces of  Henry Cheere suggest some sort of relationship between the two - I suspect that  Nicholas Collett worked as a sub contractor to Henry Cheere.


William Collett son of Nicholas Collett, Carver of St Martin, Middlesex apprenticed to Richard Price from 22 May 1770 for 7 years.


Source: Guildhall Library, MS 8052/7, f. 109. - Joiners' Company records, 1640-1821.

it is possible that these Colletts were related to John Collet(t) the painter of low life scenes


I have posted many times on equestrian statues in the 17th and 18th Centuries see -

Equestrian Sculpture in England, Ireland and Europe. …. Project for a triumphal arch for George I Cheere at Hartwell House. George I at Stowe – lead by Cheere? Rysbrack?  Caricature with wooden horse.  Essex Bridge Dublin, van Nost Peter Scheemakers, Hull. now in the Barber Inst formerly Dublin Charing Cross, Bronze by Hubert le Sueur    Windsor Castle and College Green Dublin, Grinling Gibbons  Formerly at the Stocks Market London, Anon Italian sculptor   Bronze St Stephens Green, John van Nost III Lead, John van Nost II, Grosvenor Square.  John van Nost II. Leicester Square van Nost II – originally from Canons House. George I, Hackwood Park. John van Nost II   

John Cheere, Lead,  William III, Petersfield 

John Cheere, Prince Frederick, Hartwell House 

Lead. George II, Cork, John van Nost III. 

Equestrian William III, Rysbrack Plaster Model, Bristol Museum and Irish Equestrian Statues. 

James II, by Larson



Miniature equestrian bronze William III, Rijksmuseum       

 Verocchio, Venice.                

Caligula, British Museum.            

Le Hongre, Dijon.                      

Coysevox, Paris.             

Martin Desjardin, Lyon.      

Edme Bouchardon, Paris. 

Model, John van Nost, at Dublin Castle.

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