The Great Sphinx of Giza

Cast Iron Bookends of The Great Sphinx of Giza (LEO Design)

I thought that the hot and dusty drive from Alexandria to Giza was long and tiresome.  What of the poor Sphinx who has been enduring the Egyptian heat and sandstorms for some 4,500+ years?  The Great Sphinx of Giza was carved right into the bedrock of the quarry which supplied the limestone for the nearby pyramids.  And though it is one of the world’s oldest and largest statues, its original purpose is still debated.  Some scholars contend that the Sphinx represented an Egyptian deity.  Others claim that he is a guard for the pyramids—gazing eastward over the Nile.

This pair of heavy, cast iron bookends were made in the 1920’s—a time of renewed worldwide interest in Egyptian Revival in the decorative arts.  In 1922, British Egyptologist Howard Carter “discovered” the intact tomb of Tutankhamun.  Lord Carnarvon, the Earl of Highclere Castle (where Downton Abbey was filmed), funded the dig and stood beside Howard as the tomb’s door was opened.  Although Tutankhamun is considered a minor pharaoh, his tomb was (and remains) one of the greatest finds in archaeological history.  And the discovery of his tomb spurred yet another Egyptian Revival moment—this time during the Art Deco period.

LEO Design has moved to Pennsylvania and we’ve begun to find new treasures for our on-line selling site.  Please check-out the shop ( and follow us on Instagram where new finds are always shared first.  And please help spread the word!


LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed.  While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate  (

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