Top hat and Tails

by Pam
(Sussex UK)

Hi all,

My name is Pam and I've been googling the web to try and find out some information about pottery, and well, different materials which are used to make figurines etc.

I hope someone can help me to identify this piece. I don't even know if it's pottery, or china, or what material it is made from! I don't collect any type of ornaments at all, but just simply loved this piece when I saw it at a boot type fair/ fete over thirty years ago, in Chichester, I think it was, well certainly it was in that area in West Sussex.

I think from what I can remember I paid about £12 for it, but I can't be sure, I know my husband at the time, thought it was a waste of money, he hated the thin faces, he said it was like matchstick people and ugly, but there was something about it I really liked, and I wasn't the only one, several people have admired it over the years, and I've still got this ornament, but not the husband lol.

The faces are so tiny, in fact both of the figures are really slim, the arms and legs especially.

It was dirty and I think from what I can remember stained from cigarette smoke. I remember when I cleaned it I broke a tiny piece of ear of off one of the horses, and I also now can see that the other horse has one ear missing, I don't remember breaking that one off, so maybe it was the first husband's parting gift to me!
Although I have moved home a few times over the years, so it could have got broken one of those times, even though I always used to wrap it up well in bubble wrap.

After cleaning it I noticed a signature on the front, but I have no idea who the sculptor is/was, and I can't really understand the signature anyway, and I
have never been at all interested who made it to be honest, I just like it.

Just recently though whilst writing my will out, as you do, or should, I was glancing around my home, and apart from a few trinkets, I have not got that much really. Oh I have got two other ornaments that my brother gave to me, a man and a woman sitting in chairs, and some blue mountain animals that were my mum's, and when she died, she left different pieces of it to my brothers and sisters, but in the end none of them wanted any of it, and me being the sentimental one, couldn't bear to see them just get rid of the various pieces, so I have the collection now, but nothing else, as I said I'm not really a collector of anything.

Then my eyes fell onto this piece, and thinking who in the family might like it one day, probably none of the youngsters, as it doesn't involve computer games, or the like!
It did get me thinking though, I maybe should at least try to find out a little of its history, before I acquired it.

The tails and mains of the two horses are rough to the touch, also rough too is the man and lady's hair whereas the figurines themselves are very smooth.
The signature feels rough too.

The reins both of the figures are holding are simply a thin cotton, but have not rotted away after all these years, mind you I haven't cleaned this in a few years myself now, in case I break any more pieces off of it!

The signature looks like a capital F then either an L or C osuro or something like.

Has any body seen one like it before, I've not seen anything else like it, I have googled but don't really have much of an idea on what to search.

I hope that someone out there can enlighten me.

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