A Most Unusual 18thC & Later Gothic Oak Stool

Origin: British/Possibly Irish
Period: George III / Victorian
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1760 and later
Width: 23.5 inches
Depth: 15.75 inches
Height: 21.75 inches

The oak stool made up from a c.1760 oak close stool with lift up lid having Irish mid-eighteenth century George II feet, with a nineteenth century hybrid mythical creature to the half moon frieze of a lion’s head mask and expanded bat wings, standing on four chamfered Georgian legs, the front legs with applied carving and boldly carved oversized hairy claw feet, survives from mid eighteenth century Britain and later.

The condition is mainly good, with a natural and honest patina and deep colour which could be further brought out with some coloured wax. There is a small strip section of replacement wood to the base which is pine, not oak, whilst there are some small signs of old un-active woodworm to the feet tips. The piece stands well and there are no losses, whilst the hinges may be later than the whole.

The main body of the stool is George III, c.1760, being a close stool with the typical chamfered legs, whilst the applied mythical gothic decoration is later, probably mid Victorian. The Irish hairy claw feet are of good quality and would be George II period from a larger piece of furniture. As such, she is an amalgamation of periods, and a wonderfully imaginative one at that.

Medieval carved oak pieces from the fifteenth century show the same marriage of a lion and bat which is perhaps most similar to the manticore (Early Middle Persian Martyaxwar), a Persian legendary creature similar to the Egyptian sphinx. It has the body of a red lion, a human head with three rows of sharp teeth (like a shark), sometimes bat wings, and a trumpet-like voice. Colonel William Willougby who was Irish had a very similar crest made up of a lion’s head between two wings expanded.

This crossbred piece is a bloody wonderful animal.