Lions are the undisputed kings of the jungle. But where do they fit into English history? As early as King John’s reign in England around 1210, lions were said to be kept at the Tower of London menagerie. Medieval English warriors who had a reputation for bravery were often nicknamed ‘the Lion’: Richard I of England, for example, was known as Richard the Lionheart.
Lions can be found on English heraldry and in sculptures as a symbol of national heritage. Four lions designed by Edwin Landseer guard the base of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square.
If you walk down almost any street in London you will easily spot lion head brass door knockers on traditional Georgian townhouses… including Number 10, Downing Street.
We are delighted to share one of our latest acquisitions: an outstanding pair of Regency carved giltwood lions standing on plinths. The lions feature wonderful expressive faces and retain their original gilding. These jungle kings are a quintessential symbol of English history: medieval, Regency, and today.