Hunting Sword

German, Saxony

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 376

This hunting sword is remarkable for its finely painted porcelain grip. Whereas other hunting swords with painted porcelain grips are known, this example appears to be unique for the shape of its integral pommel, which represents the head of a menacing dog. The sensitive modeling of the eyes and snout is asymmetrical to make the dog's growling even more naturalistic and expressive. The hunting scenes painted on the outer faces of the grip each provide a tableau in which the dog is shown in action, chasing a stag on one side and a boar on the other. The skill with which the scenes were painted and the combination of pigments used, for example to depict the mountains in each scene, is masterful.

Hunting Sword, Steel, brass, gold, porcelain, pigments, German, Saxony

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