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The Symbolic Wild Boar

   

RUSSIAN CARVED OBSIDIAN BOAR, LOT 296; 20TH CENTURY PENCIL DRAWING OF A RECLINING BOAR, LOT 324

Wild Boar, Swine or Eurasian wild pig are thought to have originated in South East Asia during the Early Pleistocene age. Through human intervention they have spread throughout the globe, making the species one of the widest ranging mammals in the world.

The image of a Wild Boar has symbolized different meanings over the ages from courage and ferocity, to representing war in the Viking culture.  Its sharp tusks are formidable, but the wild boar is actually considered quite shy, avoiding humans and fleeing on swift feet whenever possible.

   

ENGLISH BOAR’S HEAD-FORM SNUFF BOX, LOT 189; LARGE CARVED WOOD BOAR-FORM HUMIDOR, LOT 87

The Greeks and Romans revered the wild beast, as it not only represented bravery, but it also provided much needed sustenance to their armies during their conquering years. The Greeks refer to two wild boars in their mythology, the Calydonian Boar and the Erymanthian Boar. The Medici hired the sculptor Pietro Tacca (1577-1640) to render a boar-shaped bronze fountain nicknamed “Il Porcellino”, or the piglet, in 1634. He modeled the boar after a Hellenistic marble model and it is a much-loved tourist attraction in Florence today. The image of the boar was also used in England as early as the Middle Ages, with King Richard III (1452–1485) adopting the boar as an emblem in his flags, livery badges and helmets.

  

15TH CENTURY GILT-BRONZE MODEL OF A WALKING BOAR FROM THE LONGRIDGE COLLECTION, LOT 140;
SET OF FOUR CHINESE EXPORT PORCELAIN PLATES, LOT 86

Stair is pleased to offer a small collection of “wild boar” objects from a prominent Washington, D.C. collector, to be sold in our auction on April 28 & 29, 2018. A few of the highlights are a large carved wood boar-form humidor, a Russian carved obsidian boar, and a model of the famous Borghese Boar by the Italian baroque sculptor Pietro Tacca, rendered in bronze and marble. This personal collection started 40 years ago and contains objects made nearly five hundred years ago representing six different countries.

TWO MODELS OF THE FAMOUS BORGHESE BOAR, LOT 158;

The earliest example in the collection is a curious 15th Century gilt-bronze model of a walking boar from the Longridge Collection, purchased at Christie’s in London. A lovely model with a jaunty gate, ears and tail down, and a smirk on its face. Also on offer is a charming Chinese bronze model of a seated boar with a stylized treatment of his coat and modeled gazing at the moon; and an English boar’s head-form snuff box with glass eyes and a ferocious, growling face. Our collector found a rare set of four Chinese Export porcelain plates centered with a boar’s head coat-of-arms. We also have an unusual 20th Century pencil drawing of a reclining boar who looks restful and full.

We hope you enjoy this wonderful collection as much as we have! We hope to see you in April!

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