Chelsea Model of a full Boar Hunt
A Highly Important and previously unrecorded Chelsea Boar Hunt Group, the scene portrayed appears here at its climax laid out before a gnarled tree stump, it is composed of the Boar being run down, reclined and bellowing, painted with a very high degree of natural detail, its coat picked out in tones of brown, attacked by four hounds who lurch at various parts of its body each with spotted markings to their coats, the group on an irregularly moulded rocky base applied all over with coloured flowers and leaves.
Height: 5 ½ ins. (14cms.)
Length: 7 ½ ins. (19cms.)
Provenance: English Private Collection.
The Boar hunt depicted in Art must surely be the most exotic and opulent affair, purely reserved for the very highest born of Aristocratic society and Royal circles. Therefore the decoration of the home with paintings or decorative art linked to this grand hunting pursuit engendered the owner’s own right of participation and therefore proven social standing. This group would appear to be after Jean Baptiste Oudry ‘Le Cerf et la Vigne’, the dogs appear in the same positions within the engraving it is only the Boar that is substituted by a Stag, but the animal is in the same pose. Bibliotheque nationale de France, cabinet des estampes, Paris.
The two pieces of Chelsea that can be linked to this group are the magnificent pot-pourri vases and covers in the British Museum, which depict Meleager holding the head of the Calydonian Boar and Atlanta with her hound. It is very clear that the same modeller with his high understanding of the physique of the Dog and the head of the Boar has worked on these pieces. Both these vases are features within the 1755 Chelsea sale catalogue, in fact there are fifteen vases that appear with Meleager and Atlanta appearing twice, therefore there is a clear line of the dating to this group. See Elizabeth Adams, op. cit. Cover illustration for Atlanta and p. 127 fig. 9.12 for the pair of vases.