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"Renard Gueule Ouverte", bronze | Pierre Jules Mené

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Circa mid-19th century, signed in cast "P.J. Mene 1847"
Item #  502CBE14Q

This truly remarkable work by Pierre Jules Méne is a testament to the quality of output his foundry was capable of.  The precision and jewelry grade chiseling and finishing evident in the model is of almost unequal quality.  The figure is compelling, the wily and aggressive nature of the fox depicted quite totally in it's taught and nervous features, a handsome creature with a curiosity in his eyes and posture despite maintaining a cautious stance - in a moments notice, he can quickly spring in the opposite direction and disappear, his center of gravity leveled over his haunches.

Particularly noteworthy is the skillful casting of his facial features - the teeth remain sharp enough to cut skin, the tongue fully formed of the solid, the roof of his mouth even accurately cast along with light detailing of hair inside of his ears.  It is a simply magnificent cast.  The base is signed by Méne and dated 1847, though the work continued to be cast several years afterwards. 

References and Literature:

  • Animals in Bronze, Christopher Payne, p. 247 (present model pictured and discussed; dimensions noted for total length at 10 3/4" or 27 cm)
  • Bronzes of the Nineteenth Century: Dictionary of Sculptors, Pierre Kjellberg, p. 484 (present model pictured and discussed; dimensions noted at 11 x 22 cm)

Measurements:  10 1/2" L (total length; base length is 8 3/4" or 22 cm) x 4 1/4" D x 4 3/4" H (total height to tips of ears)

Condition Report:
Patina wear along the ridges of back and tips of ears.  Light wear along edges of base.  Overall exceptional condition.