Winged Sphinx with lioness head



Sculpture of a winged animal which is likely to be a sphinx because of its frontal pose and winged body although the head is of a lioness. This is an anomaly in the representation of a sphinx with the lioness head, the head is attached to the body and is therefore not an inaccurate restoration. The sculpture may be an ancient and unique ancient example but it's difficult to prove without knowning the excavation context. It is therefore more possibly that the sculpture is a pastiche of ancient and modern elements. The lion's face is similar to heads from Roman tables with the broad nose, the open mouth and the receding forehead and the simplified mane of flame shaped curls and that the 18th century restorer tried to create a sphinx and Bartman suggested the assemblage made by Piranesi in the Stockholn National Museum. Water damage on the mouth may suggest that the head of the Ince piece belonged to an ancient fountain ornament and there is also a deep round channel carved into the mouth. Restored are the upper back, much of the tail, the left wing, upper half of right wing, right front leg, left knee and lower jaw. The muzzle that was missing was originally pinned. The plinth is broken and rests on a modern mount. There is deep round channel carved into the mouth and this may indicate that it was converted into a fountain and this would also explain the weathering of the face.