A Wonderful Early 19thC Naïvely Carved Marble Recumbent Lion


Origin: English
Period: Regency/William IV
Provenance: The Property of a Lady, removed from a cottage on the Stourhead Estate
Date: c.1810-30
Length: 17.5 inches
Height: 8.5 inches
Depth: 6.5 inches

The early nineteenth century white marble recumbent lion, carved in the naïve manner, formerly the property of a Lady, and removed from a cottage on the Stourhead Estate survives from the second quarter of the nineteenth century.
The lion is in good overall condition with one section of loss to the end of the tail, which is so often the case with sculpture like this. The other extremities remain present and the whole has a nice aged patina with no cracks or restoration.

The lions charming naïve style has some similarities with Staffordshire ceramic pieces of the period and it is a refreshing change from the ever present Conova lions that one sees, this example, probably unique. It’s dating is rather difficult but it is certainly early nineteenth century, possibly even a little earlier. The quality of the marble is of a high grade.

Stourhead is a 1,072-hectare (2,650-acre) estate at the source of the River Stour near Mere, Wiltshire, England. The estate includes a Palladian mansion, the village of Stourton, gardens, farmland, and woodland. Stourhead has been in the ownership of the National Trust since 1946. This piece was removed from a cottage within the estate.

Brilliantly beguiling.