Marble waterspout in the shape of a lion’s head

Carved with close, deeply set, rescessed eyes beneath a shallow brow, with broad, flat nose and whiskers incised on the muzzel from the nose to the cheekbones, the oval head with short radiating mane encircling it, the mouth agape, with hollowed out channel running larerally from back to front of the mouth.

Waterspouts lining the eaves of buildings were often shaped as openmouthed lions. They were frequently carved in one piece with the sima, the gutter-like element that ran along the edge of the roof. Used to channel and control the rainwater runoff from the roof, these spouts funneled the water through the lions' open mouths. 

Greek, Classical period, 6th-5th century B.C.
H. 32.5 cm (12 51⁄64 in) W. 25.5 cm (10 3⁄64 in) D. 33 cm (12 63⁄64 in)

Ars Antiqua SA, Geneva, prior to 1997
Private collection, Switzerland, acquired from the above

E. Simon e.a.
Dei e Uomini, Roma 1997, 77

F. Willemsen
Die Löwenkopf-Wasserspeier vom Dach des Zeustempels, Berlin, 1959, pls. 54, 74, 90, 91, 99, & 100

Die Löwenkopf-Wasserspeier des griechischen Westens im 6. und 5. Jahrhundert v. Chr., Mainz, 1988, pl. 17

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