Large English reconstituted stone lion by Austin & Seeley
A large and beautifully detailed English 19th century reconstituted stone figure of a prowling lion on rectangular stone base. The material and the meticulous detailing suggest that the figure is likely the work of the English firm: Austin and Seeley. Felix Austin began his business in 1828 describing himself variously as an architect, statuary mason and sculptor as well as artificial stone maker. His material was made from Portland cement, broken stone, pounded marble and coarse sand and he encouraged leading architects and designers to work for him. Around 1840 he entered into partnership with John Seeley who had trained at the Royal Academy Schools and also made an artificial stone. Together Austin and Seeley firm became one of the leading manufacturers of garden ornament in mid-19th century England. Their work was known for the quality of artisanship and detail as well as its durability.