This equestrian figure of a Cossack soldier has just leaped out of John Shepherd's stock.
The goings-on in Europe made Cossack soldiers particularly topical in 1807 and 1812. Cossack soldiers were renowned infantrymen and they fought alongside the Russian army in the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815). In 1807, Napoleon’s army advanced on Russia and prevailed in battle. In 1812, Czar Alexander’s offensive against the French was a decisive turning point in the Napoleonic Wars. The campaigns of 1807 and 1812 correspond with the production of The Brave Cossack on Astley’s stage in those years, and this figure was probably made at around the same time. The figure is really rare. I have one or two other examples on file--including a silver lustre example--but I have never seen the figure in the flesh.
Another equestrian figure that can also be linked to the circus has also sold from John Shepherd's stock (at Hiscock and Shepherd).