CORN-3773E8: CORN-3773E8- Lion figurine - candle holder

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
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Unique ID: CORN-3773E8

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

A cast copper-alloy zoomorphic figurine probably a figurative decorative element of a medieval candlestick/candle holder, probably dating c.1300-1500.

Description: The element takes the form of a male lion. The head has a detailed, elongated style, the eyes and ears are pointed-ovals and the muzzle and the top of the mane are defined and well executed. The lion sits in an twisted position with the head angled towards one side. The back of the head is flattened and the mane is executed by wavy grooves from the head to half way down the body where a tail is also defined by wavy grooves. The lion is sitting on its haunches and its hind legs are clearly defined although set slightly forward. The front paws are similarly executed with slight incised lines. It stands on a flat base rectangular in plan.

There is clear wear on the hind legs which may relate to a small applied bracket to attach the lion to a candlestick. The element has a  dark green patination.

Measurements: Height, 68.42mm; Width, 23.67mm; Length, 32.35; Weight, 173.46g. 

Discussion: This lion fits a small group of lions on small bases reported on the PAS database: e.g. KENT-23BA75SUSS-7F74B6,  NLM-F86423YORYM-3F9514LANCUM-D6D933DUR-9050AA and SUSS-7F74B6KENT-23BA75 is the only example that still retains a square bracket. An example still attached to the candlestick was found on an example from Leiden, the Netherlands and other Dutch example in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, KA 101 (KN&V), Other similar examples are illustrated by Michaelis (1999, 32-33. Fig 11 and 13). While it cannot be certain without the bracket as to the ID of this group of objects they are mostly very similar in form, execution and size so this attribution seems reasonable. Michaelis (1999, 33) also observes the similarity in production and form of such candlesticks/holders supporting this observation.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1300
Date to: Circa AD 1500

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 32.35 mm
Height: 68.42 mm
Width: 23.67 mm
Weight: 173.46 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Friday 26th February 2021 - Friday 26th February 2021

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

Other reference: PAS 2021 36

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Manufacture method: Cast
Decoration style: Zoomorphic
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: St. Teath (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SX0680
Four figure Latitude: 50.58742135
Four figure longitude: -4.74197945
1:25K map: SX0680
1:10K map: SX00NE
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

Author Publication Year Title Publication Place Publisher Pages Reference
Michaelis, R.F. 1978 Old Domestic Base-Metal Candlesticks Woodbridge, Suffolk Antique Collectors' Club Ltd.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: CORN
Created: 6 months ago
Updated: 5 months ago

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