Pair of Stone Birds
A pair of carved sandstone Liver birds, or cormorants, one with wings outstretched, one with wings partially outstretched, each with a sprig of broom (a variety of plant) in its beak, English, ca. 1850. 31 ins. high, 11 ins. wide, 16 ins. deep each (wings fully outstretched); 31 ins. high, 11 ins. wide, 13 ins. deep (wings partially outstretched).
The Liver bird is the symbol of the English city of Liverpool. Normally represented as a cormorant with a frond in its mouth, the bird has been Liverpool’s symbol since at least the mid-14th century. The Liver bird took on mythical importance in the early 20th century after the 1911 construction of the Royal Liver Building in downtown Liverpool. Two bronze birds—one male, one female—sit atop the building and are considered the avian protectors of both the city and the seaport.