Two marble lions immortalised in Alexander Pushkin's poem The Bronze Horseman lent the name A House with Lions to the palace of the Lobanov-Rostovsky princes: "... In the corner of Peter's square, By the newly built palace, There upon the high staircase stood two guarding lions, Life-like with their paws raised...".
A House with Lions was built from 1817-1820 by Auguste de Montferrand, the French neoclassical architect whose designs for the Nicholas I monument in St Petersburg are offered as lot 424 in this sale. The imposing palace, built in the Russian Imperial style, flanks the western side of St Isaac's Square. Its elegant facade, decorated by eight columned porticos, faces the Admiralty. Built for Alexander I's aide-de-camp, Prince A. Ia. Lobanov Rostovsky (1788 -1866), this gigantic and impressive building still dominates St Isaac's Square.