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THE BUFFALO HUNT
[Probably in Manitoba, Canada. ca. 1862].. Watercolor on paper, 8 3/4 x 13 1/2 inches, laid onto a larger ruled sheet. Unsigned. Title and attribution on Kennedy Galleries labels. Provenance: Kennedy Galleries; Collection of Edward Eberstadt & Sons. In excellent condition, with bright colors and sharp detail. A short closed tear, neatly repaired, is in the grass at the very bottom of left-center foreground. Attractive period- style decorated gilt frame, matted and glazed. This graphic image of a buffalo hunt, likely near Fort Ellice, Manitoba, in western Canada, was painted by a British nobleman visiting the West on an exotic sporting adventure. A hunter, carrying a buffalo rifle, has dismounted from a horse to inspect a fallen buffalo bull, while behind him three mounted hunters pursue more buffalo, cut from a large herd seen grazing on the horizon, with a mountain range as a backdrop. Close attention is paid to the rather formal attire of the hunters, who sport buckskin jackets, stiff white shirts, and broad-brimmed hats. The buffalo and horses are drawn quite well, with their power and speed clearly delineated. Kennedy Galleries attributed this painting to one "Lord Alfred Dunsmore" [sic], It was actually executed by Honorable Alfred Murray, called by courtesy Lord Alfred Dunmore, younger brother of the 7th Earl of Dunmore. "Lord" Dunmore was in his late teens at the time of the expedition. He travelled to western Canada with the expedition of Viscount Milton and Dr. Walter Butler Cheadle, one of the most important early explorations of the Canadian far west. According the Marshall Sprague in A GALLERY OF DUDES, Dunmore delayed the expedition first by supposed illness and then by his sporting proclivities. "Cheadle was summoned off their route by Lord Southesk's brother-in- law, Lord Dunmore, whose messenger said he was dying of jaundice. After two days of fatiguing forced march, Cheadle reached Fort Ellice, near the junction of Assiniboine and Qu'Appelle Rivers, to be told that his lordship felt very much better and was off hunting buffalo." This is evidently Dunmore's illustration of his buffalo hunt after recovery. Dunmore was only one of many British aristocrats who visited the western frontier for sporting adventure; Sprague's book describes the trips of many of them. In Dunmore's case, he may have been inspired to go west by his brother-in-law, James Carnagie, the 9th Earl of Southesk, who hunted in the same regions in 1859-60 before returning to England to marry Dunmore's sister. Southesk later described his trip in his book, SASKATCHEWAN AND THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS (Edinburgh, 1875). A superb picture of western hunting at a very early date. Marshall Sprague, A GALLERY OF DUDES (Boston & Toronto: Little Brown, 1966), pp.68, 73, 83, 276. Charles Kidd & David Williamson, DEBRETT'S PEERAGE AND BARONETAGE (London: Debrett's Peerage Limited and St. Martin's Press), pp.410-12, 477-79, 1179.
      [Bookseller: William Reese Company - Americana]
Last Found On: 2013-07-20           Check availability:      Biblio    

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