Obelisk Hercules Wrestling Lion Pearled Creamware Pearlware England, Circa 1800


This obelisk was made in England, circa 1800, at the height of the neoclassical period. The obelisk’s base is painted in a beautiful turquoise, centering a medallion showing Hercules wrestling the Lion of Nemea. This was the first of Hercules’ twelve labors. Narrow sculptural bands of acanthus leaves frame the turquoise. Acanthus is a symbol of immortality. Hercules’s success in seemingly impossible labors won him an immortal place amongst the gods. Hints of the original gilding around the medallion still show. The obelisk’s shaft is decorated with acanthus leaves.

Dimensions: 11.75″ tall x 3.75″ deep x 3.75″ wide

Condition: Excellent with slight edge frits invisibly restored

In stock

Background of obelisk

An obelisk is a tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument that ends in a pyramid-like shape at the top. First found in ancient Egypt, the obelisk symbolized the sun god Ra.

Background of Hercules wrestling the Nemean lion

Hercules shot the lion with an arrow, not knowing that its golden fur was impenetrable. The arrow bounced harmlessly off the creature’s thigh. After some time, the lion returned to his cave. Hercules cornered the beast and stunned it with his club. He eventually killed it by strangling it with his bare hands.

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