A new acquisition for the Museum!

24th December 2021

News

We are delighted to welcome our latest exhibit to the Museum: this beautiful bronze lion by Alfred Stevens (1817-75), who was born in Blandford in what is now the Offcamber cycle shop in Salisbury Street.

Stevens, one of the finest British sculptors of the mid-nineteenth century, originally modelled a lion in cast iron to ornament the railings outside the British Museum in 1852.  The original lions were dispersed in 1895 when the railings were dismantled; twelve now stand guard around the monument to the Duke of Wellington in St. Paul’s Cathedral which Stevens designed in 1856. From 1896 D. Brucciani and Co. of Covent Garden had the right to cast copies of the lions in bronze, and this is probably where ours originated.

The lion was bought from an art dealer in Milborne Port, following an appeal for donations from members which raised the funds in just a few days. In fact, the pledges given amounted to more than the £800 needed to pay for the lion, so the Museum will be contacting everyone who responded to the appeal in the next few days to propose that the excess be used to start a “collections fund” that could be used in future to purchase items with a Blandford connection. If you have any views on this suggestion, please feel free to contact us.

The lion will be on display in the Museum when it reopens on Tuesday 1st February 2022.