Circus Lion

An impressive and unique life size lion from a travelling circus. Hand made in straw, hessian and papier mache, circa mid 20th century…

SKU: RC00884.

Product Description

A quite magnificent ‘life size’ lion for display purposes…

Although we are unsure of the actual age of this piece, we believe it could date to the mid part of the 20th century. Having heard from the previous owner, we understand that this lion was used as a display piece for a travelling circus or funfair, and is of English origin

The lion is quite the statement piece and quite the eye catcher too. Firstly, its size is impressive stretching over 1.9 metres long and over 90cm high. Standing comfortably on its four large feet, the lion has some beautiful craftsmanship which probably wouldn’t be replicated today

To start to describe the epic piece we have here, it needed a ‘two-man job’ to lift this into our van – it’s heavy! Also, what the pictures probably cannot show is the true beauty close up of how the lion has been pieced together by hand, and of course the patina in areas that gives the lion such charm and authenticity

Due to a small area under the tail that has been slightly exposed with some material loss, we can see that the interior has been built using a unique combination of straw, hessian rope, papier mache and finished with fur hide (not real animal fur). The mouth area has been crafted out of a moulded material (feels ‘resin like’ and hard to touch) and then hand painted to give its realistic facial features. The eyes which look piercing are made from something ‘glass like’, yet they are not glass…

There are so many other parts to describe, so we’d be happy to answer any more questions about the build and the condition. Likewise, if you’d like any more photos, specifically close ups then please do get in touch

We are offering this piece in ‘as found’ condition, therefore there is some natural wear and tear. The lion on mass is structurally great, heavy and can comfortably ‘free stand’. The overall nature of the build is naive, therefore there are elements that may look tatty (and dirty), yet I believe the nature of the ‘patch work’ finish in areas is what makes this such an amazing piece. We feel the current condition simply adds to the look and authenticity… Please do study the photos to help with your analysis as it would be hard to highlight all imperfections…

A great collectable or display piece. Could be a great prop or photography back drop too…

Dimensions : Depth : 55cm, Width : 92cm, Height : 190cm

Condition : Structurally good, some surface marks and scratches, some paint chipping, tatty and in areas, some areas of material are pulling away from the frame, under the tail shows a small loss to the material

Postage : Due to the size and weight of this item, it is listed as local collection only. We do however have an affordable courier on hand who would happily provide a postage quote to your address

You can view this product in our Ralph & Co. showroom in Burwell, Cambridgeshire, CB25 0AA

We are open Fridays and Saturdays 9am to 5pm or personal viewing is available via appointment. Please do get in touch 07592 534 977

Additional Information

Dimensions 55 x 92 x 190 cm