Elephant here, snake there – animals just about everywhere
  • A real estate sale of public housing
  • The real-life “Little Black Sambo”
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    Auction Finds

    Two cows, two sheep & a crocodile that look so real

    The cows were peeking from behind life-sized stone Roman figures. One sheep stood between two metal tractor-seat bar stools, while another seemed to be grazing on concrete. Nearby was a crocodile that looked much too real.

    The four farm animals looked a tad out of place among the gray stone figures stationed outside the front doors of the auction house. They all looked life-like, while the other stone and metal figures were the normal animal and other images I see quite often on sunny auction days.


    A Holstein cow stares out from its perch behind some stone figures, with tin soldiers flanking its hiding place.

    The farm animals and crocodile obviously were not live, but statues created out of plaster or resin. They were well-painted in bright true-to-life colors that made them stand out: A brown and white Guernsey cow, a black and white Holstein cow, and yellow sheep with white faces and horns. The paint job was remarkable.

    As I stood there observing the animals, I wondered where they had come from and how I’d use them if I bought them. Could I place them in my backyard? They didn’t look like the type of statues that could last outside through a hard winter. Could someone use them inside a country store? I’m not sure if those stores even exist anymore – at least not in abundance.


    A Guernsey cow ready for auction, along with two metal flamingos in the foreground.

    Curious about plaster farm animals, I went Googling and found others like them for sale. A British seller on eBay was offering a cow for 933 pounds ($1,567) and called it a garden ornamental statue. I found a cow on eBay that looked just like the auction Guernsey. The seller wanted $883, but no one bought it.

    Another site was selling a Holstein and calf that, it said, “would fulfill one’s farm fantasies.” You could buy the pair for $715.

    Or you can have a sheep that’s “just as cute as the real thing” for $423. Or a lion for $384. If you like your faux animals even bigger, how about an elephant for $13,670.


    Two sheep tucked away among other garden ornaments.

    I found a statue of an “Indian Warrior Chief” straddling a bucking “Indian horse.” I cannot imagine having such a disrespectful image in my backyard. The asking price was $700 (horse not included).

    The animals don’t have to be confined to your backyard. This British shop offered several types of animals – including cows, a reindeer and pigs – for farm shops, butchers and themed events. These animals can help you make money, not act as showoffs in your yard.

    What do you think of these statues? Would you want one for your backyard?


    A crocodile lays in wait for a buyer at auction.


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