Charles Robinson Sykes

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"Spirit of Ecstasy"

Charles Robinson Sykes (18 December 1875 – 6 June 1950)[1] was an English sculptor, best known for designing the Spirit of Ecstasy mascot which is used on Rolls-Royce cars.

Sykes was born in 1875 in Brotton,[2] in present-day Redcar and Cleveland, England.

The Spirit of Ecstasy, also called "Emily", "Silver Lady" or "Flying Lady", carries with it a story about a secret passion between John Walter Edward Douglas-Scott-Montagu (second Lord Montagu of Beaulieu after 1905, a pioneer of the automobile movement, and editor of The Car magazine from 1902) and his secret love and the model for the emblem, Eleanor Velasco Thornton.

Sykes was commissioned by Lord Montagu to make a special mascot for his 1909 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost. Sykes produced a small statue of a young woman in fluttering robes with a forefinger to her lips.[3] It was named "The Whisper"[4][5] and is to this day unique to the Montagu family's Rolls-Royces. The statue is displayed at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu.


  1. ^ Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951; accessed on 20 May 2016
  2. ^ Eleanor, in body or spirit? - by Paul Tritton, 1986 - Rolls-Royce Owners' Club of Australia Library
  3. ^ Rolls-Royce 'Whisper' Mascot - H&H, auction sale: 8 December 2009
  4. ^ Rolls-Royce History: The Spirit of Ecstasy Archived 6 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine - iChauffeurdead link
  5. ^ Gillings, Barrie; Gillings, Margaret. "The Story of the Spirit of Ecstasy" (PDF). The 20 Ghost Club Australian Chapter. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 February 2015.

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