A RARE AND IMPORTANT 19TH CENTURY SEVRES BISCUIT PORCELAIN ‘SURTOUT DE TABLE’ OR SUITE OF SEVEN SCULPTURES OF HUNTING THEME AFTER JEAN-BAPTISTE OUDRY (1686-1755). CIRCA 1870-80
modelled after paintings byJean-Baptiste Oudry, all stamped ‘SEVRES’ and with incised marks, comprising a large centrepiece ‘Chasse au Cerf’ depicting a stag with five hounds, 62cm wide x 30cm high, ‘Chasse au Sanglier’, the boar held at bay by two hounds, 42cm wide x 25cm high, ‘Chasse au Loup’, a group of a wolf attacking a dog, 39cm wide x 22cm high,
‘Valet de Chiens’, a group of a dog handler with two hounds, 33cm wide x 30cm high, another group of a handler with a horn and hounds, ‘Valet de Chiens au Cor’, 34cm wide x 37cm high, a model of a hunter priming his gun (gun now lacking) ‘Chasseur au Fusil’, 22cm wide x 35cm high, a model of a hunter blowing his horn ‘Chasseur au Cor’, 20cm wide x 37cm high,
The dramatic hunting scenes and figures that form this rare suite of sculptures are derived from paintings by the French Rococo painter Jean-Baptiste Oudry (1686-1755). First designed in the 18th century and produced in glazed Vincennes porcelain, the original models were added to and adapted by the Sevres factory in the 1770’s for the royal family. Records show that in 1776, King Louis XV purchased three of the groups that form part of the present suite, Chasse au cerf, Chasse au loup and Chasse au sanglier. The other groups that form part of the present lot are not recorded until 1787. In the 1840’s the duc d’Aumale ordered an edition of the surtout and it remains in the Château de Chantilly (Musée Condé). The present suite was produced in the second half of the 19th century, and the Sevres factory was known to have produced these further sets for display in French embassies and for diplomatic gifts.
Emile Bourgeois states that the sculptor who produced the original models for this wonderful suite was Pierre Blondeau.
see Emile Bourgeois, ‘Le Biscuit de Sèvres au XVIIIème siècle’, 1909, plate 20 nos. 603 Valet de chiens, 604 Valet de chiens au cor and 133 Chasse au sanglier, and plate 21 nos. 135 Chassuer au fusil no. 1 and 186 Chasseur au cor.
More recently Tamara Préaud has dismissed this attribution as there are no firm records in the Sevres archives to support this assertion. She discusses the suite in detail in ‘Porcelaines du Musée Condé à Chantilly’, 2005, no. 28.
For the early Vincennes version of the Chasse au sanglier group see Christies, 6th October 1986, lot 258.
An example of the Valet de chiens group was sold at Sotheby’s, London 1st July 1985, lot 6.
A further set dating from the 1870’s which lacked the main centrepiece depicting the stag with five hounds and the group of a hound attacked by a wolf was sold at Sotheby’s, London, Fine Furniture and Decorative Arts sale, 13 April 2011, lot 225, £25,000.