This handsome version of the Medici Lion with his paw on a ball has been carved out of Vicenza limestone, which is found in the Veneto region of Italy. In the 16th century, Ferdinando I de’ Medici requested that two lions be carved for his garden staircase at his Tuscan villa. One of the lions used was a marble lion that was unearthed near Porta San Lorenzo and originally made in the 2nd century AD. This ancient lion had a pose like our lion, including the front paw resting on a sphere. Fernando I de’ Medici then had a second lion to stand beside the original. Throughout the centuries, copies and replicas of the lion have been made in a variety of materials.
The stone lion here, stands with his head looking upwards and his left paw on the ball. His tail curls between his back legs as he stands upon a rectangular plinth which has been incised with linear motifs along the edges, as well as sporadically along the top face. The flowing mane and details of the face are realistic, and overall, the statue has acquired a nice patina from standing outside for the past few years. A one-inch hole has been carved in the lion’s mouth that continues through a column under the lion’s chest. This allows the lion to be used as a fountain element when paired with a basin. Perfect for indoors or outside, this lion will be a focal point to any area.
CONDITION: Good condition. Minor rubs, nicks, and losses. Light buildup and traces of moss and lichen. A highly sought-after patina has developed, with a speckled black coloring. Stone is a natural material that can become darker or lighter from the elements.