Pierre Jules Mene (FR, 1810-1879) a fantastic grouping of terrier digs burrowing or ferreting out a hare or rabbit from a hole. Also known as: “TROIS CHIENS AU TERRIER, CHASSE AU LAPIN” or “Three Dogs Ferreting”. This bronze is an earlier cast with amazing and fine detail in composition and chasing. The chocolate brown patina is spot on and lets you see every hair on these dogs, mid-19th century.
Signed “P.J. Mene”
Measurements: Width 14.8 inches Depth 6.75 inches Height 7.75 inches.
Mêne was born on 25 March 1810 in Paris, France. As a teenager he worked for his father, a metal turner. By 1837 he was casting his bronze sculptures in his own foundry. Mêne produced a number of animal sculptures, mainly of domestic animals including horses, cows and bulls, sheep and goats which were in vogue during the Second Empire. He was one of a school of French animalières which also included Rosa Bonheur, Paul-Edouard Delabrierre, Pierre Louis Rouillard, Antoine-Louis Barye, his son-in-law Auguste Caïn, and François Pompon.
His work was first shown in London by Ernest Gambart in 1849. Mêne specialized in small bronze figures which explains why none of his works exist as public statuary.
His work was a popular success with the bourgeois class and many editions of each sculpture were made, often to decorate an increasing number of private homes of the period. The quality of these works is high, comparable to Barye’s. Mêne enjoyed a longer period of success and celebrity than his contemporaries. He is considered to have been the lost-wax casting expert of his time. The lost-wax casting method is sometimes referred to as the cire Perdue method.