Based on ancient Greek mythology of a hybrid creature with the head of a human, the body of a lion, and the wings of an eagle, this pair of monumental sphinx statues were cast in France. The origin of the sphinx can be traced back to the Dynasty IV of Egypt (circa 2613-2494 BC), where it was carved or painted as a human head on a reclining or seated lion body. Eventually, the motif spread throughout the ancient world, where the Greeks depicted the creature in a more chimeric (and often ominous) fashion.
Both sphinxes are depicted laying down, with a half human/half lion upper body lightly draped in a fabric that is tied in a bow just above the elbows. The addorsed wings are resting on top of the hind legs, which are hooves, rather than paws. A thick rectangular plinth with slightly undulating sides provides stability for the large sculpture.
In France, some of the great Renaissance chateaux featured prominent stone sphinxes at the base of entry steps. Our exquisitely detailed cast stone sphinxes (notice the segmented feathers of the wings and the bunched areas of fabric on the torso) would look fantastic in any outdoor setting. The sphinxes are looking in different directions, so they could be placed looking inward or facing in opposite directions.
Approximate weight: 3,190 lbs each.
CONDITION: Good condition with intentional variations in finish and distress marks to mimic antiquity. Minor chips in areas. Please see photos for details.