The ‘sport of kings’ was the inspiration for this striking falconry centrepiece (estimate $60,000- 80,000) created by John Samuel Hunt in London in 1851.
The 2ft 2in (65cm) high figural covered trophy is adorned with hooded hawks, hunting scenes and a gentleman tending a heron.
The circumstances of its commission is unknown but by the 1860 it was owned by great ornithologist Thomas Littleton Powys, 4th Baron Lilford. A photograph survives of him with the centrepiece displayed in his study. Lilford founded the British Ornithologists Union in 1858, the Northamptonshire Natural History Society in 1876 and was a founding member of the Old Hawking Club.