A Very Unusual English Tomb Sculpture of a Carved Sandstone Otter

A Very Unusual English Tomb Sculpture of a Carved Sandstone Otter

1300 to 1500 English

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A Very Unusual English Tomb Sculpture of a Carved Sandstone Otter
Showing its webbed paws, long tail and body, blunt nose and short flat ears
14th Century

Size: 20cm high, 59cm long, 24cm deep – 8 ins high, 23¼ ins long, 9½ ins deep

The otter in medieval times was symbolic of both Christ and the Devil, and therefore of the struggle between good and evil. The animal was widely used by priests as an allegory of Christ’s descent into hell.
The otters motto was ‘saevit in omnes’; ‘he is fierce in all things’, and as an end stop to a tomb slab for the recumbent effigy of an armoured knight upon which to eternally rest his feet, this possibly would have been an entirely appropriate sentiment.

Medium
Sandstone
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