Denicheur d’Oursons – The Snatcher of Baby Bears

IMG_7156From the details of a published catalogue La Main et le Multiple, Emmanuel Fremiet, French animal sculptor cast only two of the life-sized bronze statues entitled Denicheur d’Oursons. IMG_8726Translated into English, the title means the snatcher of baby bears from the nest. Denicheur derives from the verb denicher which means to pluck from the nest. Denicheur means one who snatches from the nest.

Fremiet submitted the plaster model to the Salon of 1885 with the title Ours et homme de l’age de pierre (Bear and Stone Age Man). The group was renamed Denicheur d’Oursons when Fremiet cast the first bronze for the Paris zoo. The plaster model neither returned to Lille nor recovered. It is this second casting of Denicheur d’Oursons that stands in Allerton Park today. Fremiet executed smaller versions in terra cotta of a bear in combat with men.

IMG_8730The bronze is clearly signed by the artist, boldly on the lower front. The foundry mark is also clearly stamped on the lower reverse side – Lesblancs-Barbedianne.

LeBlanc-Barbedienne Strike of foundry. Catalogue does not indicate foundry.

LeBlanc-Barbedienne Strike of foundry. Catalogue does not indicate foundry.

The bronze group was neither dated nor numbered, but at the turn of the century and before, it was uncommon for works to be dated or numbered.

The Allerton Denicheur traveled in the 1980 Tour – The Romantics to Rodin.

This entry was posted in Park and the Palace. Bookmark the permalink.