Rolls-Royce Spirit of Ecstasy

Rolls-Royce Spirit of Ecstasy

Often mistaken for being angelic in appearance, the story of the Spirit of Ecstasy (formerly The Spirit of Seed) is one of tragedy and romance; befitting of the historic motor it now adorns.

The mystical figurine is actuality a tribute to a forbidden love, a romance that, in those times, should have never been allowed to exist. The two parties were Lord Montague and his secretary Eleanor Thornton; four years prior to the death of Eleanor in 1915, Lord Montague commissioned young artist Charles Sykes, to immortalise his forbidden love as a figurine for his own Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost. The resulting design was The Whisper – an ode to their ‘amour secret’ – a figurine of Eleanor in a fluttering nightgown, pressing a finger against her lips.

“A graceful little goddess, the Spirit of Ecstasy, who has selected road travel as her supreme delight and alighted on the prow of a Rolls-Royce motor car to revel in the freshness of the air and the musical sound of her fluttering draperies.” – Charles Sykes

Call it fate if you will, but it was the same Charles Sykes, friend to the then Managing Director of Rolls-Royce Claude Johnson, who was asked to design the official luxurious mascot that would become the symbol for Phantom’s till this present day. Drawing inspiration from the Whisper, Sykes opted for the more elegant form of Eleanor over the formerly proposed goddess Nike, and hence the Spirit of Ecstasy was born, although then it was known as the ‘The Spirit of Seed’.The figurines were originally made using sterling Silver or Gold, but are now made from stainless steel unless specifically requested. The Spirit of Ecstasy figurines can now be seen in various ‘hues’ such as Crystal, all black, and are retractable to avoid these coveted statuettes from being damaged or stolen.

Read: Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II



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