Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Your standard garden lion

I didn't realize that I needed a garden lion until the promo piece from Tuesday Morning arrived in the mail. Tuesday Morning, in case you aren't familiar with the chain, deals in upscale close-out merchandise. $200 bed sheets for only $50. $5 dark chocolate bars for $1, if the chocolate lady doesn't get there first. Imported cookies. Polka dotted luggage. Good Stuff like that. Including, it turned out, $100 lions (above, below). Note guardian angel for TM's pricey beast.

What I hadn't realized was that Tuesday Morning obviously was closing-out lions because they were passe; the mass marketers were awash in Kings of the Jungle this spring. More, I'm sure, in any single big city's suburban stores than in the entire Serengeti. At Big Lots (above, below), your standard garden lion was wedged in between your standard garden St. Francis of Assisi and your standard garden black bear.

And, my, did WalMart really get into the lion thing, with gilded lions in quantity (above), in your fountain arrangement (below)...

...and in your hothouse jungle.

Oh, yes. They had plain ungilded beasts in ranks.

After the initial excitement of possibly owning a lion of my very own, I began to compare the mass market product with other lions of my experience. For example, the creature I met in the gardens of the Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis this spring (above). Might he be the lion who befriended Androcles?

Nor could the Standard Garden Guardian compare with the famous Chicago Art Institute lions that I recall so fondly.

I even have memories of meeting up with the Chinese version of the lion on my tour of the Middle Kingdom in 19-aught80. (I even have memories of a picture of me with this critter, tho I've looked high and low and had no luck finding it!)
But here's the lion I would really like to have in my garden (or my bedroom or kitchen or office, for that matter.) Too bad it isn't very likely to be.

Linkage: Foolsewoode had fun on a weekend visit to Seligman and the Route 66 past. If you don't already visit Photos from Prescott every day or so, why not start with this lovely picture of grasses in reflection at Lynx Lake.


Anonymous said...

Your photos of the lions at the Chicago Art Institute immediately made me think of the Field Museum, and the display of the Lions of Tsavo. I learned about them from the movie "The Ghost and the Darkness".

Was wondering if you had photos of those two on display?

(Me thinks that if you had a garden lion, the Max Cat might get jealous! LOL)

~Anon in AV.

smilnsigh said...

-hehhh- They do want an arm and a leg, for those garden things, don't they?

I so wanted a sleeping Dragon, {not looking very 'dragon-y at all,' btw} but... even he was too expensive. -pout- Some day I'd love a dragon or a gargoyle though. {Wow, I actually spelled gargoyle correctly, the 1st time!!!}

Miss Mari-Nanci

smilnsigh said...

And I agree with Anon in AV. Max would get jealous! Eeek!

Miss Mari-Nanci

Granny J said...

anon av -- I have to admit that I swiped the two pix of Art Institute lions; I wasn't taking pictures back in those days. Considering Max's wussiness when faced with competition from the Yoda cat, I would be very concerned that he might go into a major depression if a garden lion showed up.

SnS -- a sleeping dragon sounds good. Just what a garden needs. (Dragons are why I buy boys' Tshirts -- plenty of dragons on them.)

Lucy said...

All those garden lions are the sitting up kind, no couchant ones; like Trafalgatr Square lions, or the small ones I remember on the way to the beach at Great Yarmouth (I think), which I loved to sit on when I was small...

Good post!

Granny J said...

lucy -- but would a lion couchant guard my garden properly?

all -- since I was totally ignorant of the Trafalgar Square lions, here is a picture.The poor beast looks patient and very put-upon!

Jules said...

Lions, lions everywhere! Do they seek you out? Or are you just very, very good at finding them?
And where did you finally decide to put Sir Lion?

Granny J said...

jules -- I was rather amazed at all the lions I saw in the mass market stores -- actually, it was the reason that prompted this post. But after all the initial excitement, I discovered that the dang things weigh too much for me to handle on my own. So I had to let the lion idea pass.

Jules said...

Just a "roar in the dark" so to speak, right?

Lane said...

Very lovely...amazing there are so many concrete Leos in the area...loved the OZ at the end!

Granny J said...

Famous Niece from Memphis -- At first I was simply bemused by the first couple of garden lions -- then, totally flabbergasted.

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