Italy, perhaps Tuscany, 13th century
33.4 x 31.5 x 14.5 cm
Plinth: 53.8 x 53.8 x 2.3 cm
The mask originally formed the head of a fountain, possibly for a public drinking supply. Mineral deposits around the mouth indicate water issued out of it. The high quality of the carving is reflected in the contrasting ways in which the sculptor has used a drill for the lion’s mane and chisels for the smoother texture of the face.
Purchased 1968 (No. 68.5)