You are viewing a gorgeous silvered bronze of the famous Spirit of Ecstasy (on the hood / bonnet of every Rolls Royce motor car) on a marble base. Or, as it is also referred to in the United States – ‘The Flying Lady’. This is a later recast from the original and is offered in great shape and signed on the base (please see close up photo).
Like every good work of art there is a great story behind its making. The piece is offered in perfect condition and ready for home use right away and would make a great collectors piece for any home or collector. The piece is signed near her foot – please see the close up photo.
Charles Sykes was a sculpturist working out of early 19th Century England whose most famous work is the ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ as adorned on the bonnet of Rolls Royce cars. Also known as the ‘Flying Lady’ in the United States. Skyes was a graduate of the Royal College of Arts and was commissioned by Claude Johnson, then managing director of Rolls Royce, to create the piece to emobdy the spirit and gracefulness of the great car.
This is certainly the most attractive and probably the best known motor car mascot in the world, she has adorned the radiators of Rolls-Royce motor cars since 1911 and concealed a hidden passion as there is a great story behind her creation. This marvellous mascot was modelled after a woman who had bewitching beauty, intellect and esprit – but not the social status which might have permitted her to marry the man with whom she had fallen in love.
This is the story of Eleanor Velasco Thornton, whose liaison with John Walter Edward-Scott-Montagu (after 1905 the second Lord Montagu of Beaulieu) was to remain a secret for a decade or more, principally because both partners acted with the utmost discretion. John Scott, heir to his father’s title, was a pioneer of automobilism in England. From 1902 he was editor of the illustrated magazine The Car. Eleanor V Thornton was employed as his secretary. Friends of the pair knew of their close relationship but they were sufficiently understanding as to overlook it.
Sykes also created other art deco pieces such as the ‘Hoop Lady’ and other works, although of course the ‘Spirit of Ecstasy is his most famous.