The word gargoyle is derived from the old French ‘gargouille’ meaning throat. Gargoyles came into gothic architecture in the early 13th century to keep corrosive rain water off the cathedrals in France and western Europe. During that time, the Catholic Church was attempting to bring lots of Celtic pagan folks into the fold. Since pagan themes and deities had a powerful history with the people, the Church deemed it necessary to use the often coarse imagery to help make the transition into a new religion more palatable. Also, many people were illiterate, so images were a great way to convey Church doctrines. As medieval stone masons received more creative license, gargoyles metamorphosed in form into elaborate statuary. The gargoyles found here are replicas and creative interpretations of carvings that can still be found high up on ceilings and naves, hidden in dark crypts and chapels, or adorning the outside of the cathedrals some so worn from the elements that they are barely recognizable.
The Gargoyles Statuary is located in Seattle’s University District at 4550 University Way N.E.
Originally, in 1992, we were located in a cozy little shop just around the corner from where we are now. In two years we quickly out grew this tiny shop and set out in search of a new locale.
At this time The Unicorn Pub had decided to close its doors forever, leaving a hollow shell decorated in the old world Tudor style. Quickly, the owners snatched up the lease and proceeded to move the inventory in.
One Year later Disaster Struck. The fire fighters claimed it was a faulty electrical cord, but we know it was the fiendish poltergeist that has haunted the Unicorn Pub for twenty years.
The employees and well wishers pulled up the ol’ boot straps and went to work. Washing walls, painting, purging the store of every ounce of smoke damage. Once the damage was contained they discovered a new problem. What to do with the damaged inventory.
Have A Sale!!
Thus, began the annual tradition of our Valentine’s Day Fire Sale. Of course, we don’t have any of the old burned merchandise, so we have to go out and toss a bunch of stuff on a fire — just to get in the spirit, of course.
The annual sale happens every February 14th, offering 10% to 75% off our regular and damaged items.
The Gargoyles Statuary provides Seattle denizens with unique statuary from local artists as well as national artisans.
If you’re in the Seattle area, stop in and say hello.