Carved antique shell commemorating Derby Winner

Carved antique shell commemorating Derby Winner


Very unusual antique shell skilfully carved with the following Rock Sand/ Winner of the Derby May 27th 1903/ Ridden by Maher/ Trained by Blackwall/ Bred by the owner/ Sir James Miller Bart.

Rock Sand (born 1900) was a smallish but beautifully made brown colt by Sainfoin out of Roquebrune. He had an extremely successful season in 1902 and became very popular with the race-going public. According to the Jockey Clubs annals, in 1903 Rock Sand, ridden by his usual jockey Danny Maher, was favourite at 6/4 on in the Derby. Always a bad mover in his slow paces, he could not have gone down to the starting post worse. I suppose you know your horse is lame? said an owner to Blackwell. Oh, youve noticed that, have you? replied Blackwell. I think he has a chance, all the same. Rock Sand won by two lengths against strong competition. In 1903 he also won the 2,000 Guineas and the St. Leger. 1904 brought this horse further successes and he was then retired to stud. When his owner died in 1906, Rock Sand was sold to Mr. Augustus Belmont, President of the New York Jockey Club, for œ25,000. In America he sired Mahubah, dam of the great American horse Man oWar and sired a number of other winners. George Blackwell, Rock Sands trainer was a dark man with thick black eyebrows who was inclined to be as gloomy as he looked. However, he was an excellent and courageous trainer with many winners. Chaleureux, who won the Cesarewitch and the Manchester November Handicap in 1898, was so savage when he first came to Blackwells yard that it was impossible to find a lad for him. So George Blackwell took off his coat and did the horse himself for a while. Rock Sands owner, Sir James Percy Miller, 2nd Bt (1864-1906) was a subaltern in the 14th Hussars when he bought the three-year-old Sainfoin from Sir Robert Jardine and John Porter. Sir James established the Hamilton Stud at Newmarket and it was there that Sainfoin sired the Triple Crown winner Rock Sand.

Size :- 3.1 inches (7.9 cm) long x 2 inches (5.1 cm) wide x 1.8 inches (4.6 cm) high


Height 2 cm / 1"

c 1903


United Kingdom


Good condition with crisp carving. One tiny crack and another slightly larger made by a sharp impact but neither are detrimental to the piece