When something special comes your way…
A little while ago we came across this stunning metal cheetah at Rough Luxury Noosa. It was once on display at the Walthamstow Greyhound Racing Track in London. This iconic dog track opened in 1933 and ever since has hosted celebrities, gangsters and molls looking for a good time, relaxing and flaunting their wealth.
A cheetah may seem like an odd choice of animal to display at a dog track, but in fact the connection is quite interesting…
In the 1937 cheetahs had raced against the greyhounds at the Walthamstow track. To keep his audiences entertained, founder of the stadium Archer Leggett looked for ways in which to stand out. This is where sportsman and regular visitor to Kenya and the Indian subcontinent, K. C. Gander Dower came in. He had been captivated by the speed, grace and beauty of the cheetah and wanted to introduce them to the British people. And so, 12 big cats were imported into England, and by December 1937 they were ready to race the greyhounds at Walthamstow.
Captivated audiences were thrilled by the entertainment, mouth throughout the stadium were agape at the speed of the cheetahs. And the dogs didn’t stand a chance in the winning stakes.
Big cats and dogs were not destined to be racing partners for life. No one really knows why the cheetah races stopped shortly after. It doesn’t appear to be in relation to concern for public safety by having big cats on the loose, and even Leggett’s daughter has no idea why the cheetah vs greyhound races stopped.
What did last though was this fantastic cheetah statue. Rough Noose Luxury bought it from an auction house in rural Hampshire, South East England. It has been dated to the 1950’s, so would have been displayed at Walthamstow track sometime after that. The track no longer exists as it was sold to developers and closed in August 2008.
Why are we talking about a metal cheetah statue?? Because it needed a plinth of course!
Our choice of material for the plinth of this statue was white Carrara marble. This type of marble is traditionally used in the context of stands, bases and clocks, as opposed to granite.
This particular piece of marble was not overly busy in its patterning, therefore wouldn’t distract from what is sitting upon it. And because Carrara marble is perceived as the best, it will potentially add the highest possible value to the statue itself.
Material: White Carrara Marble
Thickness: 20 mm base
Finish: Lambs Tongue