As I’ve been working on cataloging the Library’s periodical holdings, I’ve come to realize that these journals provided an outlet for artists and engravers, both of which were frequently employed to provide illustrations for publication. One such journal that is absolutely crammed with lovely engravings is the French weekly newspaper, La Chasse Illustree, (The Illustrated Hunt) which ran under slightly varying titles from 1867 to 1914. The Library holds the first year, 1867-8, and the tenth year 1877 as two bound volumes.
The original masthead includes the subtitle, journal des plaisirs de la ferme et du chateau, or pleasures of the farm and castle, and lists topics covered such as fishing, natural history, and travel.
By the tenth year the masthead has been updated somewhat. The subtitle has changed to, journal des chasseurs et la vie a la campagne, or journal of hunters and country life. The words describing content on the earlier masthead have been replaced by illustrations and we can see a variety of hunters, fishermen, and shooters, shown in scenes surrounding the title.
As the title suggests this journal covers a wide range of sporting life. Despite my inability to read the french text, a survey of the engravings clearly displays the variety of topics covered.
Here we find the expected hunters, such as this highland stalker.
As well as images of the hunter’s companions, like this bird dog.
Hunters of every sort appear in the pages. Not only men but also animal predators, including some rather exotic beasts like these leopards chasing after Tragopan Satyrs (a Himalayan pheasant)…
and even a spider!
The techniques used by hunters are also shown. Here are two hunters using a blind to hide from their quarry.
This chap is using a complicated looking trap to try and capture some birds. His set up even includes a tethered live decoy which can be seen at the far left of the image.
And this interesting cross sectional image shows another trap, this one for fish.
If you can make the trip to visit the Library I’d love to bring out these two volumes for you to spend an afternoon browsing through. The illustrations I’ve included hardly scratch the surface of this fantastic collection of weekly journals.
Erica Libhart has served as the Mars Technical Services Librarian at the National Sporting Library & Museum (NSLM) since early 2016. The focus of her position is collection services, working to increase accessibility to NSLM’s collection of books, periodicals, and archival materials. The NSLM collections span over 350 years of the history of equestrian sport, as well as fly fishing, wing shooting, and other field sports. Have a question? Contact Erica by e-mail