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Grecian Sphinx: MAR.C.8-1912

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Grecian Sphinx


Wedgwood (Factory)
After Adam, Robert (Designer)


Black basalt, moulded. The sphinx crouches on a rectangular pedestal, with its forepaws extended at the front, and its tail curled over its hind quarters. It wears a semi-circular headdress, a bodice, and a saddle blanket, which falls down onto the base. Underneath there is a large circular hole surrounded by four small holes, with a medium-sized hole to the right.


History note: Unknown before testator

Legal notes

C.B. Marlay Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 23 cm
Length: 31.8 cm

Relative size of this object

31.8 cm23 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Place(s) associated

  • Etruria ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1912) by Marlay, Charles Brinsley


After 1800 CE - Before 1900 CE


Wedgwood's sphinxes were modelled during the autumn of 1769 (see Wedgwood MS E.25 18289), and both the Egyptian and Grecian types were listed in the 1773 Wedgwood & Bentley Catalogue, the latter in two sizes, of which this is the larger size. They are also mentioned in the 1779 Wedgwood & Bentley Catalogue. See Documentation.

School or Style


Materials used in production

Black basalt

Techniques used in production

Moulding : Black basalt, moulded

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: WEDGWOOD
  • Location: On the underside
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Mark

Inscription present: in brown

  • Text: 461
  • Location: On the underside
  • Method of creation: Inscribed
  • Text: 16/
  • Location: On one long side of the pedestal
  • Method of creation: Inscribed

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: MAR.C.8-1912
Primary reference Number: 11167
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 29 November 2018 Last processed: Monday 25 July 2022

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Grecian Sphinx" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-08-18 02:44:53

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{{cite web|url= |title=Grecian Sphinx |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-08-18 02:44:53|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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