A set of the original puppets created for the Tony-winning Best Play War Horse , including Joey, Topthorn, the Goose and a pair of crows, are to be auctioned for charity at Bonham's auction house in London September 13, as part of an evening in aid of the Handspring Trust.
In all, eight sets were made, three of which are being preserved for future productions. A set was previously acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2013. Adrian Kohler, Handspring's Master Puppeteer, will sign and number the auctioned items.
The full horse-size puppets were designed and made in South Africa by Kohler and Basil Jones of Handspring Puppet Company, assisted by an array of highly creative artisans employed by the company between 2010 and 2014. Each set of puppets for War Horse took eight months to create and are made of cane, leather and Tyvec, (for the manes and tails), a material used in book-binding. The torsos are reinforced with aluminum and strong enough to carry a rider.
The Handspring Trust was founded by Kohler and Jones as a ”a not-for-profit organization seeking to inspire creativity, commitment and innovation towards new puppet theater arts.”
For further details on the Trust, visit sites.google.com/a/handspringpuppet.co.za/trust.
Watch how the puppets were used on Broadway: