We are offering a reward for finding these bronze and marble sphinxes. We have the candlesticks that should be mounted on their backs and believe that the sphinxes were in a Scottish house, perhaps they have been sold and now could be anywhere - have you seen them? If you have any information about these sphinxes we are keen to hear from you and to perhpas buy them. Please contact us
The sculpture is inscribed: "OEDIPUS EXPOUNDED HER RIDDLE, SHE THEN DESTROYED HERSELF"
THE RIDDLE OF THE SPHINX
In Greek Mythology, as described in Sophocles's play Oedipus Rex, the Sphinx is a beast that had the features of a woman and several animals who plagued the people of Thebes night and day. The Thebans cried for help until Oedipus came, killed the sphinx, and set the Thebans free.
Oedipus met the Sphinx at a crossroads on his journey between Thebes and Delphi. Oedipus must answer the Sphinx's riddle correctly in order to pass. Failure means his own death and that of the besieged Thebans. The riddle was: "What walks on four feet in the morning, two in the afternoon and three at night?". Oedipus answered: "Man: as an infant, he crawls on all fours; as an adult, he walks on two legs and; in old age, he uses a walking stick". Oedipus was the first to answer the riddle correctly and, having heard Oedipus' answer, the Sphinx was astounded and inexplicably killed herself by throwing herself into the sea. Oedipus thereby won the freedom of the Thebans, the kingdom of that city, and as his wife, Jocasta, who was later revealed to be his mother.