Historical period(s)
Satavahana dynasty, 2nd century
Limestone, probably referred to as marble
H x W x D (overall): 52 x 28 x 38 cm (20 1/2 x 11 x 14 15/16 in)
India, Andhra Pradesh state, Amaravati
Credit Line
Transfer from the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Sculpture, Stone

Figure: animal

India, lion, Satavahana dynasty (1st century BCE - 299 CE)

From at least 1935 to 1942
C. T. Loo & Co., Paris and New York, from at least June 14, 1935 [1]

From 1942 to 1951
Eduard von der Heydt (1882-1964), Ascona, Switzerland, purchased from C. T. Loo on August 27, 1942 and lent to the Buffalo Museum of Science, Buffalo, New York [2]

US Government vested Eduard von der Heydt's property under the provisions of "Trading with the Enemy Act" by vesting order, dated August 21, 1951 [3]

From 1964 to 1973
National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, from March 1964 [4]

From 1973
Freer Gallery of Art, transferred from National Museum of Natural History in 1973 [5]


[1] The sculpture was exhibited by C. T. Loo in his gallery in Paris in 1935, see C. T. Loo & Cie., Exposition de sculptures et bronzes anciens de L'Inde, exh. cat. (Paris: C. T. Loo & Cie., June 15-July 31, 1935), cat. 6, pl. 3. In June 1936 the sculpture was sent by Loo for purchase consideration to St. Louis City Art Museum, see C. T. Loo's stockcard no. J-216: "Large stone head of a lion on a marble base Amaravati. 2nd A.D.," C. T. Loo & Frank Caro Archive, Musée Guimet, Paris, copy in object file. In 1939 Loo included the sculpture in an exhibition at Vassar College Art Gallery, see Sculpture of India: Eliza Buffington Memorial Exhibition, exh. cat. (Poughkeepsie: Vassar College Art Gallery, April 12-May 12, 1939), cat. 9, pl. 3. Chauncey Hamlin in a letter to Eduard von der Heydt cited Alfred Salmony's statement according to which the sculpture previously belonged to the lot acquired by Gabriel Jonveau-Dubreuil (1885-1945) when he lived in Madras, India, see Hamlin to von der Heydt, August 28, 1942, Chauncey Hamlin Papers, Buffalo Museum of Art.

[2] See Loo's stockcard cited in note 1. According to an annotation on the stockcard, the sculpture was sent to Buffalo on July 30, 1942 and sold to von der Heydt on August 27, 1942. See also "Catalogue of the Von der Heydt Loan to the Buffalo Museum of Science: Loan Material from Baron Von der Heydt, as of March 1949," where the object is documented under an inventory card no. 42131, copy in object file. The inventory card provides September 8, 1943 as an acquisition date.

[3] See Vesting Order No. 18344, August 21, 1951, Office of Alien Property, Department of Justice. Eduard von der Heydt exhausted all the legal remedies against the forfeiture of his property provided to him by the Trading with the Enemy Act.

[4] Attorney General, Robert Kennedy authorized transfer of the von der Heydt collection from Buffalo Museum of Science to the custody of the Smithsonian Institution in March 1964. The collection was transferred to the National Museum of Natural History. In 1966 US Congress legislated transferring the title of the von der Heydt collection to the Smithsonian Institution, see Public Law 89-503, 80 Stat. 287, July 18, 1966. The object was accessioned under no. 448110, see "Smithsonian Office of Anthropology Accession Data," copy in object file.

[5] The sculpture was among 13 objects in the von der Heydt collection transferred from National Museum of Natural History to the Freer Gallery of Art, see "Smithsonian Institution Intramural Transfer of Specimens" memorandum, dated January 29, 1973, copy in object file. The sculpture was accessioned to the Freer Gallery Study Collection under no. FSC-S-14 and subsequently transferred to the permanent collection in August 1978.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

National Museum of Natural History, Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution
Baron Eduard von der Heydt 1882-1964
Gabriel Jouveau-Dubreuil French, 1885-1945
C.T. Loo & Company 1914-1948

Published References
  • (Introduction) Dr. John Alexander Pope. An Exhibition of the Sculpture of Greater India, a Fully Illustrated Catalogue. Exh. cat. New York. p. 14.
  • The Sculpture of Greater India. Exh. cat. p. 22, pl. 35.
  • J.E. van Lohuizen-Leeuw. Indian Sculptures in the von der Heydt Collection. Zurich. p. 28.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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