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Memento of 'Rainbow'

Spirited: Australia's Horse Story

Memento of 'Rainbow'

Silver inkwell set into a horse's hoof

Horses' bodies sometimes held sentimental value, with many Australian horse owners of the late 19th and early 20th centuries choosing to preserve parts of their equine companions.

The owner of this object salvaged a hoof from their horse, Rainbow, and had Melbourne jeweller GH Palfrey embed in it a silver inkwell, as a desktop memento. The hoof would have been prepared earlier by a taxidermist.

Silver inkwell set into a horse’s hoof, inscribed ‘Rainbow died November 13th 1913’
Silver inkwell set into a horse’s hoof, inscribed '"Rainbow", died November 13th 1913'. National Museum of Australia. Photo: George Serras.