Just in time for holiday giving, here’s an opportunity to buy a unique piece of Virginia legal history.
Carved wooden gargoyles, formerly displayed on the Lynchburg courthouse, will be on sale on eBay until next Saturday, Dec. 17.
There are five different gargoyles available and they are being auctioned separately. Each one resembles a lion’s head (they look a little like pig’s heads, but they are lions – see the picture).
According to the fact sheet posted on eBay with the auctions, Lynchburg built a new courthouse in 1855, and the design included carved wooden “Corinthian lions” on the exterior of the Greek Revival building. The Lynchburg Museum moved into the building in 1977, and found that the lion heads had rotted.
Museum leaders commissioned a local artisan, Michael Creed, to fashion new gargoyles. Creed said he used a yellow pine beam from an old tobacco warehouse formaterials; he hand-carved the replacement gargoyles to match the originals.
Now, 34 years later, the gargoyles are being replaced again, and the five on sale come from Creed’s 1977 group.
The eBay proceeds will be used to benefit the Museum.
Museum Director Douglas Harvey said in a statement, “The gargoyles are really collectible folk art at this point so we hope to see some real bidder interest.”
At press time last Thursday, the winning bids at eBay ranged from $30 to $56. To investigate or to bid, go to www.ebay.com and type in “Lynchburg gargoyle” in the search box to find the five auctions.
By Peter Vieth and Paul Fletcher