Coloured Engraving of a Hunting Scene Circa 1863

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Antique coloured engraving of a Hunting Scene titled, “Opening Meet of the Quorn Hounds at Kirby Gate, Leicestershire”, c1863

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W-31.5 H-29.5 (cm)

Item Reference:

58995-864-2Tip! This item's Ref-Code breaks down thus...
Item Ref Code: 58995-864-2
Item No. 58995 - Dealer No. 864 - Building No. 2


Coloured Engraving of a Hunting Scene, c1863

This is an antique coloured engraving titled, “Opening Meet of the Quorn Hounds at Kirby Gate, Leicestershire”, and dates from 1863. It illustrates a charming rural hunting scene with country house and church in the background. Kirby Gate, the first turnpike gate on the Leicester road from Melton Mowbray, became the site for the opening meet, and remains so to this day.

The Meet, at the start of a day’s hunting, is usually held at someone’s house, farm or at a pub. These days the opening Meet of the season usually takes place on the last Friday of October at Kirby Gate (in Kirby Bellars, near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire). Although the hunting year officially begins on 1 May, activities don’t usually commence until the harvest has been completed. Hence, it is termed Autumn Hunting and the Meet is usually at dawn because scenting is stronger in the morning before the sun gets up. Although sticking to old traditions, hunting no longer takes place.

The Quorn Hunt has a claim to be the oldest hunt in the country, being founded in 1696 by Mr Thomas Boothby of Tooley Park, Leicestershire. The hunt takes its name from the village of Quorn, where the hounds were kennelled from 1753 to 1904.

The Quorn became probably the most famous hunt in the world and attracted visitors from all corners of the globe. The then Prince of Wales (Edward VIII) met Wallis Simpson after hunting with the Quorn and the present heir to the throne became a frequent visitor before the ban on hunting with dogs.

The roots of hunting in Leicestershire go back to fine country houses and the landed gentry, and hunting was the training grounds for the British army’s crack cavalry regiments for both horses and riders. Just as one sees the Household Cavalry in their splendid regalia, hunt customs and dress still retain some of the olde worlde attributes. It may seem outmoded to some people in today’s world, but these traditions and dress have relevance.

Depicting the opening Meet of the Quorn Hunt in 1863, this is an antique steel engraving from the “Illustrated News of the World” which was a short-lived periodical running from 1858 until 1863. Similar in nature to the Illustrated London News, it presented a vivid picture of British and world events – including news of war, disaster, ceremonies, the arts and science.

It is a particularly charming coloured engraving and is in an appropriate frame.


Item Reference
Height: 29.5 cm
Width: 31.5 cm
1860 - 1880, C19th (Mid Victorian)
Country of Origin


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