Group of nine animals, Henry Fratin, Paris, first quarter of the 19th century


Group of nine sculptures depicting animals of different species, entirely covered with fur; each animal rests on a wooden base, three of which have a label below which indicates the name of the author, Fratin, naturalist.

The animals represented are quadrupedal mammals: bison, bovine, bovine nursing calf, horse, elk, ibex, tiger, lion, bear.

Dimensions: 40 x 11 x 40,5 cm (max) ( 15,7 x 4,3 x 15,9 in max )


Historical-critical analysis:

The group of animals is made with a wealth of details and careful attention to anatomical rendering, such as to immediately reveal the author’s training as a naturalist, as he himself signs on the label affixed under the base of three of the specimens. introduce yourself. Monsieur Fratin, on the same label (two printed and one manuscript) indicates the group as a work worthy of a natural history cabinet, due to the accuracy of the description of animals from different parts of the world, such as to deserve the attention of the Government, French schools and amateurs, also appearing in the apartments of kings and ministers. He indicates the provenance from Metz, Rue des Allemands n. 55, but specifies that at the moment it is located in Paris, in Rue du Bai, n. 55. The author is to be identified with Henry Fratin, taxidermist, father of the famous animal sculptor, a certainly inherited passion, Christophe. Fratin exhibited his collection of natural animals, of which these could be a part, at the Parisian Exposition of 1819, as mentioned in the “Annales de l’Industrie Nationale et étrangére” published two years later. In this case the description and geographical indications of M. [onsieur] Fratin find a close match with the texts of our labels.


“Annales de l’Industrie Nationale et étrangére”, tome quatrième, Chez Bachelier, Paris, 1821, p. 90.

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