An outstanding museum quality pair of early Italian Renaissance carved walnut Cassone Bearers in the form of crouching or recumbent lions. These monumental scale fantastic beasts are attributed to Umbria, in the late 15th century.
With remaining polychrome and are partially gilded. The walnut carving is absolutely exceptional and bold - particularly notable are their snarling mouths, hooked paws and flowing manes.
They are the largest and most impressive pair we have ever seen: there are works of comparable quality, carving and period in the Getty Museum (68.DA.8) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art from the Robert Lehman Collection. (1975.1.1942).
These pieces would have originally be commissioned by an important Italian Noble Family to support what would have been a remarkable Cassone. Incredible sculpture in their own right.