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The Boy And The Fox

Large purple paste intaglio

Imagery of a boy with a fox hidden in his coat

Excellent antique condition with minimal wear

Why we love it

Aw, doesn’t this just melt your heart? A wee boy with a fox huddled into his coat. All cooried in, cute and cosy.

Not so! Or so we believe.

This seal appears to reference the Spartan story of the boy and the fox. The boy, on his way to school, sees some fox cubs at play. Rather than leave them alone (the wisest choice in our opinion), the boy picks one up, hides it under his coat and goes on his merry way.

The fox, restless and angry (rightly so), begins to gnaw the boy’s flesh, just above the heart (ok, bit extreme but we get it’s not happy). The boy continues his lessons without a word or cry, growing weak and wan. In a dramatic climax he sinks to the ground. His teacher rushes to his aid and opens the coat, releasing the fox, which jumps out and scurries away. The boy, however, is dead.

This tale of woe apparently encapsulated Spartan manliness: steal, suffer and die, rather than be found out.

A cautionary tale against bloody-minded machismo if ever there was one. Wear this seal as a talisman against misplaced loyalty and toxic masculinity.

Alternatively, you could choose the more endearing interpretation of protection. A boy caring for an abandoned fox and a growing bond of friendship …

1 in stock