A Very Rare, Large and Impressive Pair of Porcelain Sculptures of Sphinxes Meissen Circa 1855-1865
A Very Rare, Large and Impressive Pair of Porcelain Sculptures of Sphinxes
Circa 1855-1865
Meissen
Porcelain
H17 1/8 x W23 1/4 x D10 7/8 inches (43.5 x 59 x 27.5 cm)
Inventory number: MeiFig_0069

Modelled by Ernst August Leuteritz, each recumbent facing left and right, respectively, their lioness’s bodies covered in a puce, gilt-edged tasseled saddle cloth, wearing a gilt-edged mantle surmounted by a tiara moulded with a gilt flowerhead on a blue ground, the fur heightened in shades of brown, crossed swords marks in blue.

A Sphinx is a mythical creature with, as a minimum, the body of a lion and the head of a human.

In Greek tradition, it has the haunches of a lion, the wings of a great bird, and the face of a woman. She is mythicised as treacherous and merciless. Those who cannot answer her riddle suffer a fate typical in such mythological stories, as they are killed and eaten by this ravenous monster. The sphinx is thought of as a guardian often flanking the entrances to temples.