An incredible pair of winged Sphinx sculpture corbels originally from a 17th Century Belgian Castle. In Belgian Blue Stone with traces of original gesso and paint, these mythical creatures retain such crisp features and intricate carving. The Sphinx are treacherous and merciless, with a woman’s head, the haunches of lions and the wings of an eagle. In Greek and Roman mythology and Ancient Egypt they were thought of as guardians and often flanked entrances to religious temples. In the late 15th Century Rome grottesche or “grotesque” decorations were incorporated into the classical vocabulary of arabesque designs that spread through Europe in the 16th and 17th Centuries. The revived Mannerist “French Sphinx” depicted here with an erect head, breasts of a young woman and pearls as ornaments are naturalistic and bewitching.