Linking your favorite traveling artists across the globe
Did you know that in the year 1886, the first
Van Horse Parade was held in London? Awards of Horse Brasses
were given out by the RSPCA. The horses were of ALL breeds and crossbreeds,
types and sizes, but all had one thing in common - they pulled Vans
or Carts in the City. Since then, the collecting of Horse Brasses
has had a wide appeal and we have quite a large collection of our own.
Many years ago in the British Isles, those those who drove a
delivery horse and cart, were called "Vanners", "Carters" or
Their horses, which were of many sizes and types,
soon became known as "Vanners" also.
The Gypsies, when they had horses which
they considered not of breeding quality or surplus
horses, sold such horses to the Vanners as public work
horses. Most ended up in large cities to work there for
the rest of their lives. The above is a rare photo of
a Vanner, washing down his horse after a day's work.
There were actually special baths in large cities, such
as this one, purely for washing down Vanner horses after
work. This picture was taken in London in 1920.
This Vanner and horse, worked for the London and North
Eastern Railway, who operated their own baths for the
Vanner horses. There is no doubt that this fellow started
off as a Gypsy Horse. At first I thought his tail
had been docked, but careful inspection of the picture,
showed that it was actually a full tail and most of it
was braided. He almost has an English Saddle marking on his
back. At least he looks well fed and loved.
Here's a wonderful old photo, taken in England in 1902.
It shows a Gypsy family resting after a day's travel.
As always, their horse is seen as part of the family.
Here's a lovely old postcard from France - circa 1934.
It is entitled
Pelerinage aux Stes-Maries-de-la-Mer.
While obviously not a Gypsy Horse, here's a great old photo
of a Vanner and his horse and van. He worked for a local
Butcher, delivering meat in Margate, England. Photo taken 1897.
This time a lady delivering milk. Circa 1900.
Yet another milkman delivering milk about 1900.
When I grew up in England, our milk was always
delivered via horse and milk cart. Each horse knew
exactly which houses to stop outside, while the milkman
just walked along side, taking bottles up to the front
door of each house.
A Lovely old photo from 1905 taken in Fowey, Cornwall.
Many generations of my Father's family lived in this area.
Could that be a Gypsy Horse we see there waiting patiently?
Another very old photo of a Vanner and his horses.
I wonder who this big horse was.
I love this old photo of a Vanner and
his beautiful horses.
A great old photo of Appleby Horse Fair.
A Roving Band of English Gypsies.
A lovely old photo, taken in the village of,
Botley, Hampshire. Obviously a Vanner making deliveries.
A rare photo of two Gypsy Horses and a foal,
with a Surrey and couple. Sorry it's so blurry,
but it's the best I could do with the copy I have.
This was circa 1902.
A great old postcard of a Shire of long ago.
Who knows - he might just be the ancestor of some
of our own horses today.
Gypsy Camp. Blackpool 1896.
Gypsy and his horse. 1925.
Gypsies camped on a Church Common in Northhamptonshire.
I just had to add this photo.
This is said to be the largest known horse in the world.
His name was Brooklyn Supreme.
He was a purebred Belgian Stallion,
standing 19.2 tall. He was said to have weighed
over 3,200 lbs. He was foaled in Iowa in 1928 and died in 1948.
That is a lot of horse!
My thanks to Andrea Foley for sending along this photo.
Our thanks to The Gypsy Lore Collection. University of Liverpool,
for many of the photos shown on this page.
By my faith,
you have great reason to be sad."
"As You Like It"