You are viewing a fine English bronze casting depicting a polo player in full swing astride his horse. The energy and dynamism of the piece is what attracted us to this great work of art. We came across this at a dealer we know in Bath whilst on a buying trip in the West Country.
The player is depicted swinging his stick just about to hit the ball with the horse at a mild cantor. We cannot find a signature to the piece but whoever the artist was has really caught the moment with skill. The patina to the bronze has a lovely lustre and at different parts the tone varies. The piece is offered in very good condition. It is ready for home decorative use right away and this will take centre stage as a show piece. Perfect for polo fans and collectors.
Polo can be traced to origins in Manipur state, India, about 300 bc when it was played as Sagol Kangjei. It is also claimed to be of Persian origin having been played as Pulu (which means “willow root”) about 525 bc. In the course of centuries it spread to other countries including Tibet, China, India, and Japan, where a special form of it called dakyu evolved in the 8th century ad. By the 16th century it had become particularly popular in India. During the 1850s British army officers in India learnt how to play it, and the earliest polo club of the modern era was the Cachar Club, founded in Assam in 1859. It was first played in England in 1869 by cavalry officers of the Tenth Hussars, and in the United States in 1876. The governing body is the Hurlingham Polo Association, London. Hurlingham first staged a match in 1874 and the club committee first drew up a set of British rules in 1875.