Their traditional rocking horses are coveted family heirlooms — but there was no sign of dapple grey when a group of celebrities were given access to the Stevenson Brothers factory.

The 12 famous faces were asked to put their stamp on a horse, to be auctioned at Sotheby’s for the AIDS charity CHIVA Africa.

“We gave them a blank canvas,” said the company’s Marc Stevenson, who described the results as “extraordinary, one-off pieces of artwork”.

Dame Judi Dench made hers into a unicorn. Dress designer — and recent Strictly Come Dancing contestant — Julien Macdonald came up with a turquoise zebra with diamante trim.

But it was Joanna Lumley’s psychedelic horse (pictured) that caught Mr Stevenson’s eye.

“It is Patsy,” he said, referring to her Absolutely Fabulous character. “Very bright, 1960s hippie rock child.”

Buyers were similarly impressed, with the herd raising more than £100,000 at the auction on 14 November.