The Sphinx Clock

the sphinxclock

I run creative writing sessions at a place called The Wallace Collection in London. The Wallace Collection is open seven days a week and is FREE!! The creative writing sessions are also free to schools and colleges so mention it to your teachers.

It is a magical place filled with art, ceramics, furniture, clocks and armoury. You can wander around gilded rooms lit by dazzling chandeliers, gaze at the most wonderful paintings and listen to the chimes of the elaborate clocks.

This Sphinx Clock was made in France in 1781 and probably belonged to Queen Marie-Antoinette. One day she had a wager with her brother-in-law that he could not build her a party house in under one hundred days. She lost the wager but ‘won’ the Pavillion de Bagatelle in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris. The house contained a dining room, a billiard room and a salon where this sphinx clock probably lived.

Sphinxes are mythical creatures who, in Greek mythology, have the head of a human and wings of a bird. They are ferocious creatures who take great delight in setting riddles on pain of death if you cannot guess the correct answer.


It is more beautiful than the face of your love,

It is more scary than your worst fear,

Dead men eat it all the time,

If you eat it, you soon will die.

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