The Lion’s Share

Visitors to WMODA often ask about the majestic lion which greets them at reception. The terracotta lion was modeled by John Broad for Royal Doulton and some were originally sited beside statues of Queen Victoria which were erected in Britain after her death in 1901.

At Newbury in Berkshire, a memorial to Queen Victoria guarded by four lions was presented to the town by “Lord’ George Sanger of circus fame and unveiled in the market square in 1903 in the presence of a live lion held on a chain. The Queen and four Royal Doulton lions now reside in a nearby park.

Terracotta, which literally means “cooked earth” was a popular building material at the turn of the last century. The Doulton factory at Lambeth in London was a major supplier in Victorian Britain. As well as monuments of all types, they produced terracotta blocks with sculptured decoration for buildings. One of their most famous commissions was Harrod’s department store in London with imposing sculptures by John Broad on the pediment.

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