A Striking Pair of Painted Mid 20thC Recumbent Stone Garden Lions


Origin: English
Period: Early/Mid Twentieth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1930-50
Height: 14 inches
Width 10.5 inches
Length: 22 inches
Weight: 52.8 KGS Each

The stylised reconstituted stone lions, recumbent on rectangular bases, having been black painted survive from the middle of the twentieth century.

The lions are in good overall order with commensurate weathering to the paint, showing two small areas of loss; one being a plinth corner lacking and one tail end is chipped. The lions were more than likely painted at least forty years ago but wouldn’t have been painted at the time they were made.

Probably first deriving first from China, stone lions traditionally stood in front of Chinese Imperial palaces, Imperial tombs, government offices, temples, and the homes of government officials and the wealthy, from the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220), and were believed to have powerful mythic protective benefits. Pairs of lions are still common decorative and symbolic elements at the entrances to restaurants, hotels, supermarkets and other structures, with one sitting on each side of the entrance, in China and in other places around the world. These examples are the English, or European equivalent.

Rather like guardian lions that may welcome one to a sweeping gothic Victorian rectory, sat either side of a leaf strewn winding drive, we think these are slightly bizarre but hauntingly beautiful.