Presented is an 1894 signed first edition goupil-gravure print by Heywood Hardy (1842-1933). The engraving was printed in Paris and published by Boussod Valadon & Co. Publishers, the successors to Goupil & Co. Designed as a companion to After the Drive, Hardy’s On the Moors (Dogging) depicts three hunters and their two dogs hunting ducks. The youngest of the three men is shooting his gun as the dogs excitedly wait to chase after the bird. This print is one of only 75 artist’s proofs and has been signed by the artist in pencil at the lower left corner of the print’s margin.
Hunting has a long history in England and is considered a very traditional activity even today. One of the most popular forms of hunting is called “wildfowling” and targets wild geese and ducks. Often conducted on coastal marshes, wildfowling is typically a solitary or small group sport unlike the grand group fox and pheasant hunts. As seen here, hunters would take their dogs, trained to retrieve the birds after they fall to the ground.
The 19th century was known as the “golden age” of wildfowling. This engraving was done at the sport’s peak and reflects the technologies of the time. The new steel barrels, smokeless gun powder, and other improved technologies for English arms made it much easier to shoot at flying targets. Suddenly, it was much more practical to hunt for birds while in flight and it became not just a common sport but also a form of sustenance for the lower classes. Soon many English men from many different social standings were present on the coastal marshes in search of geese and ducks.
Overall very good condition. This black-and-white engraving was published in 1894. The publishing information can be found at the top right corner just above the scene. Hardy’s pencil signature is clear and legible. The print shows no signs of damage and has been framed according to the highest archival standards with a custom-built frame.
Framed Dimensions: 39” H x 44” W x 2” D