Bonaparte Before the Sphinx by French artist Jean-Léon Gérôme. Oil on canvas. (1867–1868) Source


By Anand Balaji

King or commoner, good luck charms serve to infuse hope, and also provide comfort in troubled times. One of history’s illustrious rulers Napoleon Bonaparte was no exception; for he had a “sphinx talisman” of his own. The French emperor is credited with having created this intricate masterpiece that is not short on intrigue. This special talisman, that took two years to design, is based on the ancient Egyptian Tarot code. Not difficult to guess why—Napoleon commissioned this work soon after his return from the historic Egyptian campaign.

The gemstones are arranged in a secret code that reflects Napoleon’s love for his wife, Josephine, and his successful military and political career. In creating this object, the ruler was inspired by an original signet ring of his idol, Emperor Augustus Caesar, whose official seal displayed the image of a sphinx. Napoleon’s crystal sphinx, however, depicts the face of Josephine and is sculpted in the pose of one of his favorite paintings: The Mona Lisa.


Loading image... Loading image... Loading image... Loading image...

The sphinx rests upon a silver base that contains 114 precious stones which includes Peridots, red rubies and blue sapphires. And just as Isis was the Egyptian goddess who embodied the ideal mother and wife and was the patron of nature and magic, Josephine was Napoleon’s embodiment of this goddess who represented these same things to him on a very personal level.


Holy Grail

Dropa Stones

Napoleon lost his chosen talisman on the battlefield of Waterloo in 1815, and it remained hidden and forgotten until over a century later when a farmer discovered it in the mud.

[Photos Copyright: G. Randall Jensen]


Independent Researcher.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Using cookies
This site uses cookies for you to have the best user experience. If you continue to browse you are consenting to the acceptance of the aforementioned cookies and acceptance of our cookie policy