A stuffed Swedish lion outperformed them all centuries before the pathetically subpar restoration of a Spanish painting or the derided bronze monument of Cristiano Ronaldo.
The unsurprising outcome of a taxidermist being obliged to stuff and preserve a lion without having any knowledge of what a lion truly looks like is The Lion Of Gripsholm Castle. The Royal Palace of Stockholm has provided an interesting and entertaining account of how this renown lopsided lion came to be.
The body of a real lion was acquired by the court of King Fredrick I of Sweden in the 18th century. This exotic treasure served as the ultimate status symbol for an 18th-century European king. The large cat’s actual origins are unknown, although the majority of people believe that the Bey of Algiers in North Africa gave it to them as a gift. In order to defend some of the kings of North African countries from the Barbary States’ pirates in the Mediterranean Sea, Sweden is known to have given them significant tax money. This means that the lion probably performed a tiny “enjoy doing business with you” type of behavior.
Only the lion’s pelt and bones, nevertheless, were able to return to icy Scandinavia for unknown reasons. Then another issue showed up: the taxidermist didn’t have access to YouTube and Google Images, nor had he ever seen a lion in the wild.
However, the taxidermist’s job still needed to be completed:
According to The Royal Palace of Stockholm, “He is the star of Gripsholm that provokes every feeling from wide-eyed awe to amused laughter.”
The wonky lion is strikingly similar to heraldic lions you may have seen on flags and family crests, according to some experts. As you can see, the tongue looks like it’s flopping around like it does in side-on lion heraldry illustrations. This is due to the fact that the taxidermist’s only source of reference was these images.
The lion was proudly displayed at Gripsholm Castle in the town of Mariefred, east Sweden, after the commissioners, who undoubtedly had never seen a lion either, were pleased with the outcome. The lion is still a popular attraction at the location, according to the Royal Court of Sweden, and is “probably one of the castle’s greatest attractions… You won’t likely forget it after you’ve seen it.
The Internet has helped the legacy of the renowned lion experience a remarkable revival. With 7,000 followers, his Facebook fan page receives a steady supply of memes, tributes, and amusing satire.