A Fine Georgian Period Carved Stable Horse Name Plate; 'Rico'


Origin: English
Period: Late Eighteenth / Early Nineteenth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1790-1820
Width: 17.5 inches
Height: 3.5 inches

The beveled edged ruby red painted and stained pine and oak stable name plate lettered ‘Rico’ in shadowed gilt having carved acanthus leaf adornments to either flank, survives from the mid to late Georgian period.

In original overall order, the name plate has spotting to the surface which is to be expected due to where it would have been positioned, probably only part sheltered from the elements, in stables. The carving remains in sound order with two small areas of loss to the upper corners. We have not restored or cleaned the item aside from a light wax.

It is thought that the first races to take place in Britain were organised by soldiers of the Roman Empire in Yorkshire around 200 AD, although the first recorded race meeting was during the reign of Henry II at Smithfield, London in 1174 during a horse fair. Around the middle of the 18th century, horseracing became the first regulated sport in Britain, thanks to the formation of the Jockey Club. The late 18th century saw the establishment of the Classic races which are still run today. The St Leger, the Oaks and the Derby were all founded between 1776 and 1780, which is close in date to the creation of this plate.

Equine nameplates like these rarely appear for sale, and as Rico was obviously a prized steed, we think it’s superb that it has survived and can continue to be admired long after Rico’s last gallop.