March 2015

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With the new website bedding in, it is time I thought to tell you about some of the new and interesting items that have recently come into inventory.

A fine pair of 19th century carved stone eagles, formally from the front palisade of Nawton Tower, Yorkshire - large in scale with wing tips dropping below their base they would grace and give gravitas to any entrance. The eagle is associated with power and victory - think Roman Legion; it is also allegros to pride and sight, a reason possibly why we associate them specifically with gate piers. Eagles are sacred to Jupiter, this time think Prometheus and his poor liver! But what of Jupiter and the goose?

Here in this carved stone sculptural group, in the manner of the lowland sculptor Pieter van Baurscheit (1669-1728), we see Jupiter with his son Mercury holding a goose - in the myth of Philemon and Baucis they save the old couple's only goose which they (the poor old couple) were running around trying to catch to feed the travellers, who only later revealed themselves as the gods, saved them from a terrible flood and finally turned their humble cottage into a temple!

To Japan; two pairs of cranes both bronze but of differing size and period - the unusual small pair are unsigned and Taisho Period (1912-1926) and whilst still being of good quality, fail to compare to the best of Japanese metal workmanship, evidenced in the larger pair of signed Meiji Period (1868-1912) snow cranes. Both are red crowned cranes known as Tancho and in legend live for a thousand years, being also symbols of peace, good fortune and fidelity. Interestingly the Toro or one legged Yukimi - Doro (snow lantern) is an Edwardian Bath stone copy made for the Japanese garden-crazy Victorians, to be placed on a path near water possibly alongside a pair of bronze cranes.

Always Italy a quick grand tour; Venus signed by the Florentine sculptor Pietro Barzanti (1842-1881) would nicely fill a small niche in any classical garden, with an entrance that could possibly be flanked by a pair of Roman baroque lead cherubs on pedestals, with a central feature such as the Neapolitan Dancing Fawn discovered in Pompeii on the 26th of October 1830.

Gates, troughs and more gates and more troughs for all and my favourite piece, the medieval caved limestone 'long fingered mouth pulling gargoyle'. With a good provenance this large scale survivor of the middle ages is a type of gargoyle known collectively as mouth gapers. These strange creatures and contorted persons various are thought to represent the sin of gluttony, though possibly also allude to the medieval competition of face pulling, sometimes known as gurning.

I very much hope this latest stock is of interest and I look forward to corresponding with you on these or indeed any other items, new or old, featured on the web site.

STOP PRESS: Addendum catalogue of our own range of new design garden planters, benches and tables coming very soon - or as soon as I finish it! (please see preview of new designs on our latest stock page)

With kind regards


A pair of impressive carved stone eagles

A late 17th century Dutch carved sandstone allegorical group of Jupiter and Mercury

A pair of 19th century cast iron garden seats

A carved Bath stone Japanese Toro or lamp

A pair of Japanese Meiji Period (1868 - 1912) bronze cranes

A pair of Japanese Taisho period (1912-1926) bronze cranes

'Venus de Medici' by Pietro Barzanti (1842-1881)

A pair of early 20th century winged lead putti

'The Dancing Fawn' circa 1920

A large antique circular limestone trough

A fine pair of Victorian garden gates

A large antique limestone trough

A large medieval carved limestone long fingered mouth puller gargoyle

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