A big, bold and bright unicorn is coming up for auction in time to make a Christmas dream come true.
The dramatic object, which stands 8ft tall on its plinths and features real horse hair, was commissioned as a statement piece by the seller and has been on display in a coffee shop in South West London.
Created by an artist as a piece of modern taxidermy, it features detachable swan-feather wings and is mounted on a metal plate which in turn sits on marble plinths.
Its dimensions from the tip of its horn to its base is 200cm but that rises to 245cm when measured to the bottom of the plinths. Its width from wing tip to wing tip is 188cm and its length is 170cm.
The one-off piece is set to go to auction at Hansons London on December 12 with an estimate of £10,000 to £15,000 – and it’s the first unicorn it has ever had consigned for sale.
Jonathan Newey of Hansons London said: “Unicorns are the stuff of dreams and fantasy, a mythical creature from ancient times that has staked its place in popular culture today. Unicorns often crop up in children’s stories and films, such as Toy Story and the Chronicles of Narnia, hence why children, big and small, love them so much.
“We uncovered this magnificent artistic creation in South West London and it’s certainly a first for us. We have never sold a giant unicorn before. It’s a symbol of rarity and it’s certainly a rarity for us. It would make a fantastic statement piece in a home with room to display it or, as it was used before, in a business premises.”
The unicorn is a legendary creature described since antiquity as a beast with a single pointed horn projecting from its forehead. It was depicted in ancient seals of the Indus Valley Civilisation and mentioned by the ancient Greeks in accounts of natural history. The Bible also describes an animal, the re'em, which some versions translate as unicorn.
In European folklore, the unicorn is often depicted as a white horse-like or goat-like animal with a long horn, cloven hooves, and sometimes a goat's beard. In the Middle Ages and Renaissance period, it was commonly described as an extremely wild woodland creature, a symbol of purity and grace, which could be captured only by a virgin. In Medieval and Renaissance times, the tusk of the narwhal was sometimes sold as unicorn horn.
The giant unicorn is due to be sold by Hansons London on December 12. Viewing is subject to Covid-19 restrictions and by appointment only. You can view the catalogue - due live December 4 - at www.hansonslive.co.uk. To find out more, please email [email protected]