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A Model of Waterloo Lion
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A Model of Waterloo Lion

Circa 1865

Measurements: Overall: 33cm (13in) x 17cm (6.5in) x 27cm (10.5in)



Giltwood lion statant after the battlefield monument by Jean-François Van Geel (1756–1830), its front paw resting upon an ebonised wood sphere, the whole supported on a rectangular block pedestal of ebonised wood with gilded decoration and the date of the Battle ‘XVIII JUIN MDCCCXV’ to the front and in base the letters ‘LION DE WATERLOO’ in low relief.

The present model dates to the fiftieth anniversary of the battle in 1865. The monument itself was  ordered by King William I of the Netherlands in 1820, and was completed in 1826. It commemorates the location on the battlefield where the Prince of Orange, commander of I Corps, was hit in the shoulder and unhorsed on 18 June 1815.

The monument was designed by architect Charles Vander Straeten. Jean-François Van Geel’s lion itself derives from the Medici Lion of antiquity and the heraldic lion that features prominently in the arms of the House of Orange. The engineer Jean-Baptiste Vifquain, who was responsible for the construction of the massive Lion’s Mound on which it stands, saw it as the joint symbol of the Allied Victory.