About this artwork
This 18th-century Waidpraxe or chopper belonged to Ernst August II, Duke of Saxe- Weimar-Eisenach. The base of the sheath depicts a hunter who holds a chopper in one hand while presenting a severed boar head to the goddess of the hunt, Diana, with the other.
Etiquette strictly regulated who was allowed to dress the game and present the head or cut the heart. Offenders (men or women) who violated the rules were subjected to the embarrassment of “blading,” whereby the offender was made to bend over the deer carcass and receive three blows on the rear from the flat of the broad-bladed chopper.
- Hunting Cleaver (Waidpraxe) of Ernst August II Konstantin, Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
- Germany (Object made in)
- Made 1755–1758
- Steel, bronze, gilding, horn, wood, leather, and silk
- Cleaver: Overall L. 36.2 cm (14 1/4 in.) Blade L. 25 cm (9 7/8 in.) Weight: 2 lb. Cleaver in scabbard weight: 2 lb. 2 oz.
- George F. Harding Collection