This large pair of cast stone sphinxes have been finished with a light sandstone color. Each sphinx is situated lying down with the tail resting on their back, and their long wavy hair has been pulled into a high bun in the back and secured with a flowing ribbon. A feathered tiara sits in front of the ribbon. They are wearing a cloak that has a ribbon tied into a bow on the chest, with the folds of the loosely draped fabric visible. Around the neck they are wearing a Renaissance-style ruff, which was a frill worn around the neck during the 16th and 17th centuries. The pedestals have been cast as one piece with stepped cornices, featuring recessed rectangular panels with canted corners.
The classic sphinx is a hybrid of a lion and a human and first appeared in Egypt during the IV dynasty, where it was shown both sitting or lying down. The motif of the sphinx remained a major feature throughout the Egyptian kingdom for over a thousand years and eventually spread throughout the Ancient world. In France, some of the great Chateaux of the Renaissance featured prominent stone sphinxes at the base of entry steps.
Our French sphinxes would look fantastic in any outdoor setting. They can be placed in a garden as a focal point or set at the base of an entryway or set of stairs.
CONDITION: Very good condition with minor chips and intentional distress marks.