Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Doors that Roar...

I have always imagined that one day, I will live in a pretty house with a shiny black door and a polished brass lion's head door knocker on it. Not quite there yet, but one day for sure.  

The history of this charming symbol is rich and dates back to early Greece and ancient Egypt.  It has
symbolized many things in history. In ancient Egypt, the lion was always associated with water. Fountains and water spouts prominently featured lions, especially those found in classic temples or  public gathering spots. 

Shipping yards and boats often had lion head symbols.



As the “king of beasts” a lion was meant to convey strength, courage, and power in early Rome. In the days of Caesar, it was common for military and political leaders to have a lion’s head on the front door as a door knocker.  The statue of a lion was often used as the guardian of gates, temples, and buildings.  In Medieval times, the Lion began to represent Christianity and royalty. Countless kings, counts, and dukes began to display the lion on their official heralds, flags, and shields. The lion became the royal symbol of Scotland as early as 1222. 

Throughout Europe, the lion appeared in homes as a display of their belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. One of the most famous uses of a lion symbol was the shield carried by King Richard I of England (Richard the Lionhearted) during the Crusades.

Gothic and Renaissance homes were adorned with lion head features. This is the period when lion heads began to become more common as interior decoration. Towel rings, door knockers, cabinet pulls, even claw-foot tubs, all featured lions. 

The door knockers are my favorite...











I used to have beautiful engraved stationery with a pretty lion's head on it.  Unfortunately, we moved and that is not my return address anymore!



The lion head is also used in many other decorative ways...









and in many types of accessories...



There's not much you can't put a lions head on!

Loving the lions,
xoxo, kp

1 comment:

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

I just discovered your beautiful blog! I too am a lion head fan and quite honestly never knew about all of the symbolism associated with it.

Have a great week!