Rare Late 18th Century French Hand-Carved Gargoyle Wall Lamp Sconce

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Item number: DIV-1438

a unique and rare French hand-carved gargoyle wall lamp sconce, made of heavy oak, likely from the late 18th century and originating from a French cathedral. The gargoyle depicts a monk with an open mouth, wearing a habit with a hood over his head and a belt around his waist. The intricate details of the carving, including the folds of the habit, are beautifully executed. The piece has a stunning patina and has not been cleaned, retaining the dust accumulated over centuries.

Hanging from the gargoyle's open mouth is an original leaded glass lantern, featuring thick, antique colored glass. The lantern, entirely in the Gothic style, complements the gargoyle perfectly. Unlike many similar pieces that have been electrified, this gargoyle lamp remains in its original, unaltered condition. Historically, candles or incense were burned in the lantern, casting flickering colored light on the cathedral walls.

Historical Context:

Gargoyles and grotesques are common in cathedral architecture, often confused due to their similarities. Both feature unusual, funny, or scary faces and can be human, animal, or a combination. Gargoyles specifically functioned to drain water from roofs, minimizing erosion and disfigurement of wall surfaces, while also warding off evil spirits. Grotesques served a more decorative purpose but also shared the role of intimidating and protecting.

Cathedrals, especially during the Gothic period, were adorned with such carvings, often reflecting the creativity and whimsy of the stone carvers. Priests, kings, and biblical figures were meticulously crafted to resemble real individuals, while other carvings allowed stone masons to express their imagination.

This exquisite piece is a true collector's item, perfect for adding a touch of historical Gothic charm to any collection or as a standout decorative element in your home.