Pair exotic antique French retour d'Egypte sphinx bookends.


When Napoleon went to Egypt during 1798 to 1801, he asked a large number of scientists and Egyptologists to accompany his army.  At that time Egypt was ruled by the Ottoman empire. On the basis of the research that they carried out, "La Description de l"Egypte" was published in 1802.  The resulting retour de l'Egypte fashion lasted for a short time before being replaced by the formal Empire style that we associate with Napoleon. On the scientific front, the expedition eventually led to the discovery of the Rosetta Stone, creating the field of Egyptology, and the subsequent tremendous Anglo-French race to decipher the Rosetta stone, won by the French Egyptologist Champollion. Despite early victories and an initially successful expedition into Syria, Napoleon and his Armée d'Orient were eventually defeated and forced to withdraw, one of the final nails in the campaign's coffin being the defeat of the supporting French fleet at the Battle of the Nile (the Battle of Abukir). 


These sphinxes would originally have been used on a fireplace as firedogs and you could adapt them back to that.



Pair retour d'Egypte sphinx bookends

  • Approx. 43cm/ 17" high from bottom to top of ceramic base. Ceramic base approximately 20cm/ 8 1/2" at widest point. PRICE IS FOR PAIR OF LAMPS WITHOUT SHADES