A Pair of Late 19thC Lead Cistern Supports Formed as Seated Lion-Dogs c.1900

Origin: Unknown
Period: Late 19thC
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1900
Width: 6”
Height: 12.5”
Depth: 13” (each)

The solid lead sculpted figures of a pair of stylised lion-dogs, freestanding and formerly being the supports for a cistern, each showing a very good patination to the lead, and surviving from the latter stages of the nineteenth century.

The figures are in stable overall order and as they have been supports the tops of the heads are therefore flat and one has a hole to the top. One shows splits beneath the tail and old composition filler to one side which has cracked and crumbled. Both have scratches and dents consistent with age, use and the soft nature of the material.

The style of the pieces here is reminiscent of dogs of Fo or lion dogs, commonly seen arranged over door entrances, displayed on top of fireplaces and positioned on tables, they have certain characteristics of the Asiatic lion-dogs. They appear to have manes and lion tails but their teeth are much more like a domestic dogs.

An unusual pair whose origins remain rather cloudy.