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The Lions of King Street

Dash’s of Old Town at 1114 King St. is guarded by two winged lions.

Dash’s of Old Town at 1114 King St. is guarded by two winged lions. Photo by Michael McMorrow.

— Dash’s of Old Town specializes in Italian fabrics and men’s tailored garments. Its lush interior reflects business success, while small size emphasizes the personal aspect of custom tailoring.

However, this isn’t about haberdashery. It is the background story of curious figures that draw attention atop the front display windows, namely, two winged lions.

The winged lion appeared in many cultures over thousands of years. It symbolized beginnings and endings, “the seeker and the accomplished.” So, in one sense, the winged lion is a perfect business advertisement.

Many of the Dash’s suppliers are found in Northern Italy, west of Venice. The first question is whether the winged lion sculpture on the granite pillar in St. Mark’s Square, Venice, influenced placement of the figures on King Street. Owner Victor Dash dashes that idea with a laugh saying: “Because of similar appearance, they really do homage to my dog, a Brussels Griffon.” He readily shares a cell phone photograph of the pet. (The dog has no wings!) Dash also knocks down the possibility of Italian imports by explaining the pieces simply were purchased from a catalog nine years ago.