This work will be included in the forthcoming Paul Gauguin catalogue critique, currently being prepared under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Institute.
The form of a recumbent fox, holding its prey between its paws, is carved onto the handle of the present spoon. The fox is an image that Gauguin introduced into his repertoire of animal forms in 1889, the year he began experimenting with symbolism. "Gauguin tells us that the fox is the 'Indian symbol of perversity.' He uses this symbol in Loss of [Virginity] (1890-1891) in a way that allows the fox to be identified as a symbol of Gauguin himself... Gauguin has apparently used the fox both as a symbol of perversity and as a symbol of his own perverse nature... After Gauguin's return from his first trip to the South seas he had already begun to regard himself as a savage" (C. Gray, Sculpture and Ceramics of Paul Gauguin, Baltimore, 1963, p. 80).