This bronze female Sphinx is from the Victorian era. It represents the sphinx from Greek mythology rather than Egyptian. It is constructed from bronze and has a stunning brown patina. The Sphinx sits in a relaxed feline position. There are intricate details across the chest or breast plate and ruffled headdress. It has a nice weight (approximately 4 lbs) and measures approximately 6 1/4” in length by 5 1/4 ” tall by 3 1/2” at its widest point. This is including the dark green marble base. There is a little wear to the marble corners, which is age appropriate.
In Greek mythology there is only one sphinx. She has the head of woman and the body of a lion. She dwells outside the city of Thebes. A ferocious and feared being, she makes travelers answer her riddles in order to pass into the city. If they answer incorrectly, she devours them. In this story, she takes her own life after Oedipus answers both her riddles correctly. Scholars believe this represents a transition in Greek literary tradition from old religious practices (symbolized by the sphinx) to the new one of Olympian deities, represented by Oedipus.
Today, sphinx are often depicted as protectors of architectural structures. In a modern home, she too might be thought of in this way. Dwelling outside a city, she filters who passes inside. This piece has a nice presence, and would be a wonderful addition to any home to serve as a guardian.