Monday, December 28, 2009

The Three Smiths of Helsinki

27 December 2009 | Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog

Three blacksmiths, originally uploaded by digikuva.

What a well-traveled group of readers checked the Hoof Blog today!

Our "Where in the world?" question asked for the location of the Three Smiths sculpture by Felix Nylund. I thought it would be a stumper, but a flurry of correct answers quickly came in from around the world!

The winner was farrier Jonathan Oehm of Queensland, Australia who, like so many Aussies, has been around the world and back again.

Close behind was farrier/doctor Mike Miller of Alabama and veterinarian Hank Greenwald of Washington. Then a three-way tie almost to the minute between "CJ" and Cynthia Dekker (locations unknown) and Sandy Johnson of Florida, who remembered the statue from her time in Helsinki shoeing at the FEI World Cup Finals in 1998.

The most recent winner is Frederick Marmander, a farrier from Sweden.

I had never seen the sculpture before and I was really excited to find these photos. Something unique about this statue is that it was damaged by bombing during World War II, and the anvil has a hole in it where shrapnel hit it.

As with so many artistic representations of smiths and farriers or anvils and hammers, the statue is said to be a celebration of the laborer, but the coordinated forging between the three men symbolizes the need to cooperate peacefully to get jobs done, according to the art museum in Helsinki.

Smiths are often depicted unclothed in classical art, but it seems a bit cruel of the artist for a city with the climate of Helsinki!

Thanks to everyone who answered or at least thought about where in the world this statue might be! What a worldly readership this blog has!