These were purchased in Italy by John, 5th Earl of Exeter (1648-1700).
They were at Burghley by 1688 when they were recorded in the Inventory of that date: ‘the Dining Roome’ ‘2 Brasse horses on ebony pedistalls.’
The original of the trotting horse, by Giambologna (1529-1608), is part of a monument to Cosimo I de Medici in the Piazza della SS. Annunziata in Florence.
The leaping horse is 11cm high, 22cm wide and 8cm deep; the trotting horse 16.5cm high, 22cm wide and 8cm deep.
Each sits on an ebonised base.