A Victorian-era match-strike made with a brass mount and authentic horse hoof. This piece is made by Rowland Ward, the famous British Taxidermist, and is marked on the base as such. Rowland Ward was located on 166 Piccadilly Street, London and was known for not only his taxidermy but also his "Wardian Furniture", which consisted in making small items and domestic furniture out of animal parts. Ward was also well-known for his natural history books. In the mid 19th Century Rowland Ward Ltd. produced books, objects and became the center of the natural animal world for Londoners.
The match striker opening at top measures 2-3/4 inches, and the horse hoof overall has measurements of 6 inches by 5-1/2 inches. The hoof is in great condition, smooth and well waxed with a nice variation of natural yellow and brown colors. The upper part of the horse foot is made of brass, with some nice detail and texture, focusing on individual hair strands of the horse around the base. You can tell this piece was very well maintained by its owner. It works perfectly as a match-striker, revealing the textured brass for striking matches as one lifts the lid.
This match-safe makes a nice addition to a collection of equestrian objects; it is a great desk item for any horse enthusiast.