Friday, September 11, 2009

Two Bronze Hounds: The Hunting Party

Back in July, LOIS of Tallahassee Daily Photo, posted photographs of her grandfather, Troup Lucas Biglow, standing in front of the Tampa Bay Hotel in 1922. He was honeymooning at the incredible, 1890s-era, Moorish-styled grand hotel with her grandmother, Lois Gray Biglow. The Biglows figure prominently in Tampa's history. At that time I told Lois that the statue, in the photo with her grandfather at left (I hope Lois doesn't mind me copying it here. Click on it to enlarge) clearly shows the dogs on the lawn. I can report that the statue is in almost the exact same spot, maybe 25 feet south, of where it stood 87 years ago. Go read Lois' original post for another photo and more of her family's wonderful story HERE.

The story of the statue itself and the artist is interesting, too, but not as good as the honeymooners I'm certain. The statue is called Au Coup de Fusil, or the Hunting Party. The two bronze hound dogs were cast in France by the artist Maurice Denonvilliers in 1890. As the story is told, they used to face and focus on a small bronze squirrel that was placed in a low hanging oak limb. However the squirrel eventually was stolen and the dogs were moved to their current location. Henry B. Plant opened his opulent resort hotel in 1891 and we know that hunting guides and dogs were provided to hotel guests. These dogs are supposed to represent Henry Plant's two favorites. Denonvilliers was also the sculptor of two bronze statues called Pikemen which are in the collection of the elegant Pfsiter Hotel in Milwaukee and stand in the lobby of the Victorian-era, Romanesque Revival-style hotel.


  1. Thanks for posting a picture of the dogs Frank! Of course I don't mind you using my picture. That is a beautiful statue and I'm thrilled to see what it looks like now. Fascinating history too. Thanks again!