The secret wild boar of a Sutton Place park

There’s a sweet little vest-pocket park tucked off Sutton Place at the end of East 57th Street.

Besides the quiet East River view, the park has another magnificent, little-known feature: a statue of a wild boar, cast in bronze, sitting on a granite pedestal along with snakes, crabs, salamanders, and other creatures.

Suttonplacewildboar

If the boar looks familiar, you may have seen it in Italy. There, Renaissance sculptor Pietro Tacca’s bronze Porcellino (“piglet”) decorates a fountain in Florence.

SuttonplaceboarbaseTacca based his much-loved boar (below), whose snout is rubbed for good luck, on an ancient Greek marble original discovered in Rome in the 16th century.

IlporcelinowikiThe Sutton Place boar is a copy of that replica, installed in 1972 by a neighborhood philanthropist who also donated the bronze Peter Pan statue to Carl Schurz Park, about 30 blocks north along the East River.

This wild boar is a powerful piece of animal art, one of many across the city.

Of course, it’s not exactly a cuddly sculpture for kids—especially on the base, where there’s a bronze snake munching on a mouse!

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4 Responses to “The secret wild boar of a Sutton Place park”

  1. Newport Carl Says:

    Love it. I have faithfully ‘snout rubbed’… Good luck does ensue

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    Good to know! After researching this, I’m dying to visit Florence.

  3. james Says:

    After having this statue in our neighborhood 57th St park for years, we traveled thousands of miles to visit Florence and were led by a written description in a guidebook unknowingly to the original statue! Not a letdown but rather ironic.

  4. Ten Statues You Wouldn’t Expect to See in Manhattan’s Public Spaces | Untapped Cities Says:

    […] It was a copy of a Greek marble sculpture found in Rome in the 16th century. This porcellino was donated by a neighborhood philanthropist and lords over Sutton Park Place on East 57th […]

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