Some confusion has arisen over the attribution of this model; Sponsel, in his 1900 work gives the model to Kändler, whereas Albiker confidently attributes the model to Kirchner. The latter attribution has recently been supported by Wittwer, and indeed the bold modelling, humanised eyes and simple outline are typical of the work of the 'senior' sculptor. It is interesting to compare the posture and outline of the bear which was also modelled in October 1732 and is firmly attributed to Kirchner. Whether Kändler embellished the model after Kirchner's departure in March 1733 is a matter of some debate. The detailed and sensitive naturalistic rendering of the fur is more typical of Kändler's work, however no documentary evidence exists to support this theory. Kirchner's Arbeitsbericht, 10.1732, [BA,IAa.18,fol.322a], records: 'Einen Fuchß so Eine Hünne frißt, Lebensgröße, Gottlieb Kirchner' ('A fox devouring a hen, of life size, Gottlieb Kirchner').
Cf. J.L. Sponsel, Kabinettst/uuke der Meissner Porzellan-Manufaktur von Johann Joachim Kändler (Leipzig, 1900), p. 91; see also Carl Albiker, Die Meissner Pozellantiere in 18. Jahrhundert (Berlin, 1959), p. 9 no. 13; Katharina Grundmann, 'Ein Fuchs so eine Henne frisst; eine Inkunabel der Meissner Grosstierplastik von J.G. Kirchner', Kunst und Antiquitäten (1989), no. 6: 58-61; Samuel Wittwer, 'A Royal Menagerie, Meissen Porcelain Animals', Catalogue (Amsterdam, 2000), fig. 30; and Samuel Wittwer, The Gallery of Meissen Animals, Augustus the Strong's Menagerie for the Japanese Palace in Dresden (Munich, 2006), pp. 180-181.
Other known examples:
Dresden Porcelain Collection, two examples.
Longleat, Marquess of Bath, one example.
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, one example (formerly in the Collection of the Marquess of Bath, Longleat, his sale Christie's, 13th June 2002, lot 350).
Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, one example (on loan from a private collection, sold Johanneum duplicate sale, Rudolph Lepke, Dresden, 12th & 14th October, 1920).