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Pair of Egyptian 'sphinx' candlesticks

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The sides of the candlesticks are engraved with fictitious hieroglyphics and the sides of the bases are engraved "OEDIPUS EXPOUNDED HER RIDDLE" & "SHE THEN DESTROYED HERSELF." The third side of the base is engraved "OEDIPUS EXPOUNDED HER RIDDLE" in reverse so that when reflected in a mirror, it can be read correctly.


About 1810, William Bullock, London. Jeremy Ltd., London; by 2004, sold by Jeremy, Ltd., to Hotspur Ltd., London. By 2009, acquired on the London art market by Horace Wood Brock, New York; 2010, gift of Horace Wood Brock to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 26, 2011)

Credit Line

Gift of Horace Wood Brock

English, about 1810


Overall: 50.8 x 38.7 cm (20 x 15 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Patinated bronze, marble




Decorative arts