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Dick King’s ride commemorated

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Historic horses of a different colour set to go on auction in Hilton on May 28.

Four horses in three vastly contrasting creations are among the stand-out lots in the variety of collectables and antiques on offer at Cannon’s Auctioneers sale in Hilton on May 28, starting at 9am.

One of the most unusual items catalogued is a striking bronze sculpture by Hiltonian Llewellyn Davies of Dick King and his Zulu servant, known only as Ndongeni, leaving Durban on horseback for Grahamstown on their epic 950km ride to seek reinforcements for the British garrison under siege in Durban during the Battle of Congella.

The 1842 battle was between the British of the Cape colony and Boer forces of the Natalia Republic for the rights to the port of entry. The battle eventually ended in a British victory, due to the heroic ride of Dick King, then aged 29, and Ndongeni, who was only 16, after the duo managed to slip out of the siege on May 25, 1842, for reinforcements – almost exactly 177 years before Cannon’s auction this week.

King completed the gruelling ride in only 10 days but Ndongeni, who had no saddle or bridle, had to return halfway.

The sculptor, Zimbabwean-born Davies, is renowned for his remarkable attention to detail and his talent for conveying motion, power and movement, is evident in this 45cm high bronze, signed “Llewellyn” and numbered 5/12.

Cannon’s has a presale estimate of R20000 to R40000 for the Dick King lot.

Moving to horses of a different colour, Cannon’s is offering an iconic British Mobo “Bronco” rocking horse on wheels “in almost original condition”, as well as a 1950s Tri-ang rocking horse, which are expected to fetch up to R6000 and R3000, respectively.

The Bronco is 76cm high and 68cm long, about the same dimensions as the Tri-ang.

Mobo toys were made by Sebel & Co in England from 1947 to 1972. The company’s best-known toy was the Bronco ride-on horse which when the rider pushed down on the stirrups and then releasing them, set the horse in motion. Tri-ang rocking horses and other toys were produced by Lines Bros, a British toy manufacturer of the 20th century which, at its peak in 1947, claimed to be the largest toymaker in the world.

Also among the lots for the Cannon’s auction are sought-after books on the likes of Vladimir Tretchikoff, Gerard Bhengu and many other Africana works; a strong selection of silver and other collectables, as well as art and furniture.

Viewing is on May 26 from 9am to 1pm and on May 27 from 8am to 1pm at the Cannon’s premises in Quarry Centre, Hilton. For full details call 033 343 3364 or email cannons@futurenet.co.za or visit www.cannons.co.za.

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