Pair of Rare and Unique Limestone Finials

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Friday, August 21, 2020

At Period Oak Antiques, we have a wonderful collection of some of the rarest and unique pieces dating as far back as the 15th century. The latest in our collection is this very rare Pair of Late Medieval English Limestone Lion Finials. This pair depicts crouching lions holding shields with the heraldic coat of arms of the Bassett family.
There is an interesting history about the early origins of the Bassett family. The surname Bassett was first found in Staffordshire where the family traces back to Thurston, a Norman who held six hides of land in Drayton, present-day Dayton Bassett. Thurston was the paternal ancestor of several families of Bassett, which rose to power and distinction very shortly after the conquest. Ralph Bassett (died 1265), the illustrious founder of their greatness, is said to have been raised by Henry I, from a lowly condition, and to have been ′exalted above earls and other eminent men.′ true it is he has constituted justice of England, and invested with the power of sitting in whatever court he pleased.
These finials showcase the heraldic coat of arms of the Basset family. Finials have always been used as garden ornaments. These were placed in pairs at entrances. Finials have also been used as a focal point in the garden. But a pair as rare as this is a definite collector’s item worthy of being showcased in a much different manner. Have a look at this particular piece in our collection.