A Superb Regency Period Cast Iron Relief Model Door Porter in the Form of the Medici Lion c.1820-30

Origin: English
Period: Late Regency
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1820-30
Width: 9.25”
Height: 6.5”
Depth: 3”

The heavy, tactile and wonderfully well-patinated cast iron door porter modelled as a Medici lion, standing on a rectangular base, the lion in the typical pose being a standing male lion with a sphere under one paw, looking away to the side, the whole surviving from late Regency period England.

Showing a splendid patina, there is wear and oxidisation commensurate with age to the whole, and importantly remains uncleaned, the model is in good structural order showing no signs of damage or repair work. His colour and even wear is extremely desirable.

The Medici lions are a pair of marble sculptures of lions, one of which is of ancient origin, the other a 16th-century pendant; both were by 1598 placed at the Villa Medici, Rome, and since 1789 have been displayed at the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence.

Half models or full door porter lions like this one were rather popular for large country houses, some were gilded, though this example is particularly well modeled and it would have sat in a resplendent home. The detailing, such as the ribcage and tail is good considering the purpose of the item was to porter doors.

We don’t doubt this could still be used as a porter, but we find it more appealing as a sculpture, table-top, with its wonderful texture and colour, there for all to see.