The British are renowned for their love of dogs and field sports, two passions that are combined in the poignant 19th century statue of Forager the foxhound that today stands in the Billiard Room at Althorp.
Study the image below of the Billiard Room at Althorp. Between the billiard table and the fireplace you will see the gleaming life-size form of a bronze hound. This is Forager, who lived and hunted in the dying days of the Victorian era. The oil painting hanging above the fireplace shows the man who commissioned the sculpture, John Poyntz, 5th Earl Spencer together with his wife Charlotte, Countess Spencer.
The statue is a commemorative piece, sentimental even. A keen fox hunter and master of the local Pytcheley Pack for many years, Earl Spencer’s devotion to hunting was such that the Althorp records show they hunted five days a week during the 1876 – 1877 season. Forager was the 5th Earl Spencer’s favourite hound.
Theodore Alexander has reproduced Forager in incredible detail, from his expressive eyes to his jaunty tail.
Below: Forager possesses a pair of soulful eyes that reflect the intelligence of the foxhound.
Charles, the current Earl Spencer, has been quoted on Theo previously as saying:
There cannot be many other later eighteenth century dogs whose master had their likeness cast, lifesized, in bronze. He stands today in the Billiard Room at Althorp, tail erect, waiting in vain for someone to score a century break.