Head of a Griffin
(7th century B.C.) - National Museum, Olympia

Head of a Griffin

 Head of a Griffin 10-3/4" H
Bonded Marble on Marble Base
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The original in hammered bronze is at Olympia in Greece where it was found. The delicate detail and the stylization of the design make this fascinating object of antiquity strangely modern. It originally was one of three such heads serving as handles fastened below the rim of a bronze cauldron. In classical mythology the griffin was a composite creature usually having the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. There were also fantastic interpretations that often combined these qualities with those of a serpent. They were believed to live in the mountains of Scythia (now in southern Russia). It was further believed that they found and guarded gold. In later times the griffin became a symbol of strength and vigilance.