Coade Stone Lion

Coade Stone Lion by webmink
Coade Stone Lion, a photo by webmink on Flickr.

This iconic Victorian sculpture of a lion stands opposite the Houses of Parliament at the south end of Westminster Bridge in London, England. It looks new, but has survived 175 years, including through World War 2 and the demolition of the building for which it was created.

It is actually made of a ceramic called Coade Stone by sculptor  W.F. Woodington in 1837. The material is made from a mix of clay, flint, quartz and glass – in ratios that are known to us – and then cured over multiple days at high temperature – in a process that is lost.  Coade Stone appears to be one of the most durable artificial materials created, but sadly the precise technique needed for industrial manufacture did not survive the closure of the manufacturer.

There are more details of the history of the sculpture on the plaque beneath the sculpture:
Detail: Coade Stone Lion

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About Simon Phipps

Grizzled geek with eclectic tastes. Fanatical about freedoms, manic about music, radical regarding religion, particular about politics.
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