Cathedral cities such as Lincoln were popular destinations for the travel-crazy Victorians, who brought home souvenirs like this charming imp modeled after a much-loved gargoyle seen high in the Angel Choir. According to legend, he was sent by Satan to make mischief in medieval England and outdid himself in this spot -- dancing on the altar, tripping up a Bishop, knocking over the Dean, smashing furniture and tormenting the choir. It's said he paused to gloat atop a column, whereupon the fed-up angels turned him to stone.
The original Lincoln Imp is only a foot high, so his likeness is traditionally diminutive. This example is 3.5 inches tall but quite weighty, being of solid bronze. There's a significant amount of age patina on the reverse, although the front has been kept nicely polished through his long years of guarding doors. You might enjoy him on your bedroom or office door, if you already have a knocker outside.
When shopping for Lincoln Imps, BTW, be careful about more recent reproductions -- some of which even have the wrong leg crossed. Ours is definitely 19th century and accurate in all details. Most probable dating is between 1840 and 1880, a heyday for leisure travel because more than 17,000 miles of new railway were built in Great Britain.
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