Squirrels in Sculpture

Squirrel sculpture is not a notable distinguishing feature of British sculpture, and despite having a couple of examples clearly in my mind, I cannot recall having come across that many examples. The one above, with its fernlike tail and over-large, almost lagamorphic ears, is a bit of architectural sculpture on the Queenís Building, Cardiff. The beast is shown among oakleaves and eating an acorn.

Here is the best known squirrel sculpture, on the George Framptonís Peter Pan monument in Hyde Park, London. The creature is apparently in converse with a youthful fairy.

These next two show particularly decorative usage of the squirrel, the one on the left as the centrepiece of a roundel, the other in a quatrefoil. The one on the left is interesting in that the little animal is not in the characteristic upright stance, but climbing four-legged among the foliage. The right hand one is back to the upright position. Both are among oak leaves with acorns, and this seems to be the almost irresistible surround for a squirrel carved in high relief. But our last example, below, breaks the rule: the squirrel, placed above an attached column, is shown typically upright, and his tail becomes the leafy foliage spreading above him, more Acanthus than oak, I would think.

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