Monday 19th of February 2024

Rare edition of Black Beauty to be auctioned for Redwings Horse Sanctuary

A limited 1915 edition of Black Beauty is being auctioned to raise funds for Redwings Horse Sanctuary in honour of the classic novel’s 140th birthday.

This rare copy, complete with beautiful colour illustrations by famed equestrian painter Lucy Kemp-Welch, was generously donated to the charity by a supporter who asked that the book be sold to help care for horses in need.

Anyone wishing to become the proud owner of this beautiful piece of history can view the book at the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell until 25th November as part of a special exhibition celebrating Black Beauty’s landmark anniversary. Silent bids are welcomed up until this date and bidding slips can be obtained and submitted at the Museum or by contacting Redwings on 01508 481000 or

Redwings, whose headquarters are south of Norwich and has visitor centres near Aylsham and Great Yarmouth, rescues over 150 equines every year from abandonment and neglect, and currently cares for over 1,500 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules every day across the country.

The money raised from the auction will help care for the animals now safe in the Sanctuary, and support Redwings’ rescue, welfare and education work nationwide.

Lynn Cutress, Redwings’ Chief Executive, said:

“As 2017 marks the 140th anniversary of Black Beauty, this stunning edition was a most fitting donation. It is not only a rare copy of a classic novel that deserves to be treasured, but a symbol of respect for animals and a lasting reminder of author Anna Sewell’s lifelong passion for preventing horses from suffering.

“Since her time, the world of animal welfare has evolved and there are new laws in place and organisations, like Redwings, working hard to protect animals, such as Black Beauty and his friend Ginger, from suffering neglect and abuse. 

“Sadly, however, our rescue work goes on but as a charity completely funded by donations this can only continue with support from the public. We hope as many people as possible will take part in the auction and we wish all bidders the best of luck!”

Redwings’ CEO with the charity’s very own Black Beauty Maya

The silent auction is just one of the ways Redwings and the Museum, along with a number of organisations in and around Norwich, have partnered with Visit Norwich to celebrate Black Beauty’s special birthday this summer.

Redwings is also providing fun talks and activities at the Museum for families on horse welfare during the school holidays, and has donated an eye-catching life-sized model of a black horse for its exhibition.

Everyone is also invited to meet and enjoy a cuddle with the charity’s very own Black Beauty – a stunning Friesian horse called Maya – at its Redwings Aylsham Visitor Centre, north of Norwich, which is open everyFriday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, 10am to 4pm, and entry is free.

Maya, who was rescued from terrible neglect in 2010, is available to sponsor for just £12.50 per year which goes towards caring for Maya and her friends, providing another way for Black Beauty fans to honour their favourite book and help horses in need. 

To find out more about Redwings, visit

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