Rehoming a Lion-Horse

By Sophie Towne

Some time ago at The Norfolk Museums Collection Centre we unearthed a carved bracket in the shape of a horse. At first we were unsure of his species and a popular Twitter and Facebook guessing game commenced where you gave suggestions as to whether he was a lion, a horse, a dog, a lamb or a mythical hybrid. He’s a rather sweet little thing with a curly mane and fringe as well as a long swishy tail and furry legs.

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We updated his records and found out that he was indeed a horse and what is more we managed to track down his original location. So the detective work began again…

From a bit of research, and some help from our Curatorial Consultant, Helen Renton, we found out that he once graced the top of a staircase at Strangers’ Hall in Norwich. We have actual proof of this from a postcard showing the inside of Strangers’ Hall in the 1930s. Our Lion-Horse, as he affectionately became known at the Norfolk Museums Collection Centre, can just be made out almost in the middle of the postcard near the bottom of the large stairs.

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We mentioned this fact to Cathy Terry, the curator at Strangers’ Hall, and it was decided that our Lion-Horse should no longer live at The Norfolk Museums Collection Centre but return home to Strangers’ Hall. So a few weeks ago his travel papers (object removal forms) were completed. He was wrapped in acid free tissue and waved goodbye to the Collections Centre where he had slept for so long and began his journey to Norwich to return to his rightful place. Perhaps when you visit Strangers’ Hall in the future you’ll be able to see the Lion-Horse once more gracing the bottom of the staircase where he belongs, welcoming visitors to the museum.

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