Lot 309 , A.W.N. Pugin for Alton Towers. A pair of heavy gilt bronze fire dogs modelled as lions triumphant, c. 1840-50, height 19in.
A.W.N. Pugin for Alton Towers. A 'pair' of heavy gilt bronze fire dogs modelled as lions triumphant, c. 1840-50, each figure holding a scroll inscribed with the the Earl of Shrewsbury's family armorial motto 'Prest d'Accomplir' height 19in.
Provenance: Commissioned by John Talbot, 16th Earl of Shrewsbury, 16th Earl of Waterford (1791–1852) from A.W.N. Pugin for Alton Towers, Staffordshire. In 1831, the Talbots' principal residence in Heythrop burned down. The 16th earl then came to live at Alton permanently, employing the renowned gothic revival architect Augustus Pugin to design a new entrance hall, banqueting hall and various other rooms, renaming the property Alton Towers. A surviving stone fireplace, designed by Pugin, in the Dining Hall of Alton Towers is carved with a triumphant and lion and the motto 'Prest d'Accomplir' in identical Gothicised script to these firedogs.
In November 1918 the 20th Earl of Shrewsbury decided to sell off the majority of the Alton Towers estate and contents by auction. The countess continued to live on the estate for another two years after the earl died in 1921.
Much of the original gilt finish is now rubbed away to the browner bronze beneath, what does remain is more of a matted and gilt tone, minor rubbing dents and nicks to the extremities but overall these are in very good condition, modelled in the round. Other than circular holes in the bases there is no sign of these having holes or mountings for use as fire dogs.
Descriptions provided in both printed and on-line catalogue formats do not include condition reports. The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Interested bidders are strongly encouraged to request a condition report on any lots upon which they intend to bid, prior to placing a bid. All transactions are governed by Gorringes Conditions of Sale.
Sold for £15,000