Rolls-Royce's Spirit of Ecstasy celebrates its 110th anniversary
Rolls-Royce is celebrating the 110th anniversary of the Spirit of Ecstasy by taking stock of the history of the iconic symbol and showing off all the unique iterations it has had over the last few years.
The Spirit of Ecstasy is Rolls-Royce's official emblem. It was registered on February 6, 1911, one year after company founder Charle Rolls died, as intellectual property of the automaker. It has graced the hood of the hood of every motor car that has been built at Goodwood, becoming nearly as iconic as the vehicles themselves.
The Spirit of Ecstasy is based on the a bronze statuette, the "Whisper", which was made by sculptor and illustrator Charles Sykes for his patron and early Rolls-Royce enthusiast Lord Montagu of Beaulieu. The Lord was the editor of "The Car" magazine and had an affair with Eleanor Velasco Thornton. Thornton posed for Sykes and it is rumored that she was the inspiration for the body of the "Whisper".
The first Spirit of Ecstasy figurines stood seven inches tall. Today, she is a more petite 3.75 inches.
"As an emblem, the Spirit of Ecstasy represents far more than just our company and our products," said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. "To our customers, she is a potent symbol, instantly and universally recognised – of success, endeavour, achievement and standing. In her beauty, simplicity, elegance and rarity, she encapsulates everything our customers seek – and find – in their Rolls-Royce motor car.
"Within our company, the Spirit of Ecstasy fosters pride and esprit de corps, uniting and empowering the Rolls-Royce family right across the world. She reminds us of our inheritance and principles, and inspiring greatness in all of us. Every car we build must be worthy of bearing her, because it is she that makes every Rolls-Royce, and our company, unique and complete."
The Rolls-Royce connection to the art world continues today with MUSE, The Rolls-Royce Art Programme.