Iconic War Horse puppets to be sold at auction

  • Fans of War Horse will have a chance to get their hands on puppets used in the hit play later this year.

    A full set of original puppets used in the stage show will be auctioned at Bonhams in London in aid of charity.

    Horses Joey and Topthorn, a pair of crows and the goose will be going under the hammer at the evening auction on 13 September.

    A spokesman for the auction house said this is the “only time” a full set of these famous puppets will be made available at auction.

    “This is a one-off opportunity to acquire a piece of theatrical legend and benefit a great cause,” said Bonhams’ director of African Art, Giles Peppiatt.

    “War Horse captured hearts round the world including famously that of HM The Queen.”

    Joey and Topthorn will make an appearance on the night and the full set will be signed and numbered 1/5 by master puppeteer Adrian Kohler.

    In all, eight sets of puppets were made, of which three are being preserved for future producions.

    Money raised at the sale will go to the Handspring Trust, a not-for-profit organisation with the aim of inspiring creativity, commitment and innovation towards new puppet theatre arts.

    The charity was founded by Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones, of the Handspring Puppet Company — creators of the War Horse puppets.

    Based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo, War Horse is the most successful play ever put on by London’s Royal National Theatre.

    During its eight-year run, it was watched by more than 7 million people worldwide and toured across 11 countries.

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    Each set of puppets took eight months to create and is made of cane, leather and tyvec, (for the manes and tails) — a material used in book-binding.

    The torsos are reinforced with aluminium and are strong enough to carry a rider.

    The show closed on London’s West End in March, but if you have not yet managed to catch it, a UK tour of the production begins in September 2017.

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