Market Lavington Museum

Vanner and Prest’s Black Oil for Harness

Here’s an item we don’t know much about. Maybe someone out there in the horse world could tell us more. It’s an empty can which once contained Vanner and Prest’s Black Oil for Harness.

Vanner and Prest’s Black Oil for Harness at Market Lavington Museum

We know this was used by the Cooper family who lived up on The Sands and they used it in about 1900. We suspect this was Joseph Cooper and his wife, Annie Francis. Joseph worked as a self-employed market gardener so may well have used a horse. And any horse owner would need to keep the harness in good order.

Of the company, Vanner and Prest, we can find little information. The name still exists for some horse products, but they are made by another company who have the right to use the name.

Through the wonders of the World Wide Web, we have found an 1884 advert for the product, in a New Zealand paper at

Here’s the advert.

Advert from The New Zealand Herald for July 29th 1884

The item can be found in our trades room at the museum.