The bride, the groom and Poppy the lab are presented on a carved wooden cover representing a horse and a dog.

  • What better gift or keepsake could there be for a newlywed couple than a copy of Horse & Dog with themselves on the cover?

    And not just any old copy of H&H, this one was created from a block of wood, thanks to around 100 hours of expert carving by Margot Charlton. Margot gave it to her son Matthias and his wife Ellie, who got married on September 11.

    Matthias said H&H Ms. Charlton had been working on the piece ever since, in secret.

    “She’s not a professional; it’s a brilliant piece of art, but she just does it in her spare time,” he said.

    Matthias said his mum starts with a square or rectangular “brick” of wood and the right-sized bandsaw, then moves on to wood carving tools for detailing. Inspired by photos from the Charlton era, it shows the happy couple and their black Labrador Poppy.

    Photo of Captured by Katrina Photography

    It also shows a “sold” painting, which Matthias says was a joke.

    “I work for a surveying firm called Fisher German and had spotted one of their boards and thought it would be good for a photo at our wedding,” he said.

    “Many of the photos from the day show Poppy looking at us lovingly but slightly confused; she spent the day with us and was totally baffled by the number of people in her garden but it was great fun.”

    Matthias added that Ellie grew up riding a horse and is “mad about field sports”.

    “Mom chose H&H as the most appropriate choice,” he said. “She’s done several before, one for my dad with The Times, but this one certainly suited us best.”

    The piece is thinner than you might think, “really like holding a magazine”, as Matthias explained, and Ms Charlton senior advised a sturdy velcro to hold it to the wall.

    “But it’s just on the chimney for now,” Matthias said. “It’s a great memory, we really love it.”

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