A Good Early Bavarian Carved & Painted Antler Mounted Stag Head Wall Trophy c.1800

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Origin: Bavarian
Period: Late Eighteenth/Early Nineteenth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1790-1830
Height: 22 inches
Width: 16 inches (antlers)
Depth: 14.5 inches
Width at Brackets: 7 inches (all at extremities)

The rare primitively modelled carved and painted stag head incorporating a pair of real antlers surviving from late eighteenth to early nineteenth century Bavaria.

The trophy is in fair to good condition. There is loss to one ear tip and one of the mounting brackets is later. The antlers a have a little movement to them but nothing of major concern. The whole has a pleasing un-cleaned, un-meddled with and unrestored feel to the whole with a nice patination and dry surface. He could be cleaned if so desired and he is ready to hang.

In former times, before the advent of taxidermy, which made it possible to "shoulder mount" antlers using the original head skin, it was the practice in Germany and Austria to mount the antlers on a carved wooden head and neck. If a stag has been shot by the owner of the land on which it has been killed, it was often the practice to place a root in the stags mouth to indicate that the stag had been shot by the person responsible for its keep. If however, the stag had been shot by a visitor, since he had not been responsible for its feeding, no such root would be included in the mouth (See "The Whitehead Encyclopaedia of Deer", page 202). This example would therefore suggest it had been shot by a visitor and could possibly be as old as mid eighteenth century, as it is rather difficult to date these with absolute certainty without further tests though it is most certainly pre 1850.

A splendid early example, and a decorative one at that.

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