In this sketch, Miller has depicted the preparation for a hunt. Auguste, a member of the caravan, is holding the captain’s spirited horse. As Stewart prepares to mount, he is shown giving Antoine, the caravan’s principal hunter, instructions. In Miller’s caption, he reported that Stewart had brought three “Joe Mantons” (superior rifles made by Joseph Manton in Britain) to the mountains that summer, which were famous for shooting, as the trappers said, “plum centre.” The rifle balls were almost an inch in diameter, and twelve of them weighed about one pound. In Antoine’s hands they were particularly deadly: “with it he made tremendous onslaught among the wild animals of the prairie” (Ross, 1968, 2).
This image is probably a study for the painting that Miller produced as a part of the William T. Walters commission.
LR: Preparing for a Buffalo Hunt / Sir W.D.S., Antoine & Auguste; Signed LL: AJM
The artist; Mae Reed Porter, Kansas City MO; [Knoedler and Co., New York, NY]; InterNorth Art Foundation, Omaha, NE; present owner