Lion-form Carousel Panel
American, English or Continental: Late 19th Century
Polychrome painted carved wood
56 inches high, 21 inches wide
Large carved and painted wood panel of a lion climbing a tree. The gold lion is decoratively stylized with an elongated body, arched back and S-curved tail. His back legs rest on green foliate scrolls extending from the tree as stylized branches. The lion’s head is turned to face the viewer with a fierce expression, teeth bared, and its mouth and nostrils painted red.
Lion and tiger motifs in their architectural and decorative arts forms had a wide variety of uses in classical design from building exteriors and interiors, to furniture, ceramics, etc. Folk art examples were frequently carved from wood as decoration for ship figureheads and catheads. Many others were made for a circus or as a carnival decoration (such as on a carousel). Indeed, the offered example is most likely from a carousel, based on size, style, form, and finish.
Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall wear, handling, shrinkage. Some restoration to painted surface.