Originally part of a larger architectural, this pair of oak seahorse carvings depict two different figural groupings. Hand-carved in England during the 1600’s, the wood has been stripped, leaving slight traces of the original finish in some areas.
Both carvings feature a winged angel riding a seahorse, with clusters of roundels emanating from the animals’ tails. Our seahorses have radically different features, with one having the head and torso of a horse and a scaled tail that terminates in a foliate rinceau. The angel perched atop this mythical beast is blowing a horn. Small roundels emit from the end of the horse’s leafy tail as the pair travels from left to right. Facing in the opposite direction, the second seahorse has a less equine visage with scales covering the entire body. Its tail is oriented as a volute scroll with large roundels spilling out of the terminal end. The angel riding has grasped the animal’s mane, using it in lieu of reins.
Our pair of oak seahorse carvings are fascinating remnants of a larger 17th century installation. Based on the filled mortises at the bottom (see detailed photos), these carvings most likely sat on the top of a piece representing a mythological or religious story. Today they would make fantastic wall-mounted sculptures. They could also be displayed on stands (see main photo) and placed on a mantel or small table.
CONDITION: Good antique condition, with minor losses and age separations. The wood was stripped at some point, leaving traces of the old finish. Slight buildup with traces of old wood worm, with one of the carvings more significantly impacted. Each carving depicts distinct entities and were hand-carved, so there are discrepancies in dimensions. Please see photos for details.