This intricately carved ivory sculpture was made for the hilt of a hunting sword or knife and would have formed part of a ceremonial garniture, composed of a rifle, powder flask, sword and knife. The present ivory can be closely compared with those from the Maucher workshop, in particular those pieces signed by or attributed to Johann Michel Maucher. Note the powder flasks in the museum of Schwäbisch Gmünd illustrated by Ehmer (op.cit.
) carved with a cluster of hounds, stags and other hunting animals and another in the Cleveland Museum of Art (inv. no.19161887). This design of hounds in pursuit of game as well as other equestrian and huntings scenes, inspired by the prints of Hans Collaert, can also be seen on the ewer and dish attributed to Maucher in the Louvre illustrated by Malgouyres (op.cit.).
R. Berliner, Die Bildwerke in Elfenbein, Knochen, Hirsch- und Steinbockhorn, cat. Bayerischen nationalmuseums, Munich, 1926, nos. 212-215 and 832-837; A. Ehmer, Die Maucher. Eine Kunsthandwerkerfamilie des 17.Jahrhunderts aus Schwäbisch Gmünd, Schwäbisch Gmünd, 1992, pp. 168-169, no. C I 41; P. Malgouryes, Ivoires de la Renaissance et des Temps modernes, cat. Musée du Louvre, Paris, 2010, nos. 108-199