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Although headless, with most of the legs, haunches, and plinth missing, this sphinx is a masterful example of Etruscan carving. The curled wing (not hollowed), the broad breastbone (with necklace and stylized lines of the forelegs), and the hair arranged in regular plaits down the back of the...

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Presumably from Vulci; by date unknown: Count Sottolimeno Collection, Livorno; according to his declaration of antiquity: purchased by Robert E. Hecht, Jr. in 1956 from Count Sottolimeno in whose family it had been for 3 generations; November 1963: purchased by Horace L. Mayer from Robert E. Hecht, Jr.; loaned by Horace L. Mayer to MFA, November 8, 1963; gift of Horace L. Mayer to MFA, December 26, 1963

Credit Line

Gift of Horace L. Mayer

Italic, Etruscan, Archaic Period, about 540 B.C.


Height x length: 46.5 x 56 cm (18 5/16 x 22 1/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique



The Ancient World