Apr 16, 2009
Apr 16, 2009
Apr 16, 2009

Sphinx

Sphinx

c. 500 BC

Amber

Overall: 5.8 x 2.3 cm (2 5/16 x 7/8 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1985.49

Location

Did you know?

A sphinx combines the body of a winged lion with the head of a woman.

Description

Amber, a form of fossilized tree resin, was much prized in the ancient Mediterranean world, perhaps due to its mysterious luminosity, fragrance, and magnetism. It was often carved into figures or heads of humans, animals, or mythical creatures. Small perforations on this sphinx suggest that it may once have been mounted, perhaps for use as a pendant. Although now opaque and crackled due to age, in antiquity the surface probably exhibited some degree of translucence, a valued attribute for amulets and ornaments.

See also
Collection: 
GR - Greek
Department: 
Greek and Roman Art
Type of artwork: 
Sculpture
Medium: 
Amber

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email imageservices@clevelandart.org.