Spirit of Esctasy

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The Spirit of Ecstasy is the name of the hood ornament on Rolls-Royce cars. It is in the form of a woman leaning forwards with her arms outstretched behind and above her. Billowing cloth runs from her arms to her back, resembling wings. The Spirit of Ecstasy, also called "Emily", "Silver Lady" or "Flying Lady", was designed by Charles Robinson Sykes and carries with it a story about a secret passion between John Walter Edward Scott-Montagu, and his secret love and the model for the emblem, Eleanor Velasco Thornton. Eleanor was John Walter's secretary, and their love was to remain hidden, limited to their circle of friends, for more than a decade. The reason for the secrecy was Eleanor's impoverished social and economic status, which was an obstacle to their love. John-Walter, succumbing to family pressures, married Lady Cecil Victoria Constance, but the secret love affair continued. Eleanor died on 30 December 1915, going down with the SS Persia, when the ship was torpedoed off Crete by a German submarine, whilst she accompanied Lord Montagu on his journey to India, four years after she had been immortalized by her bereaved lover. Today's Spirit of Ecstasy stands at 3 inches and, for safety, is mounted on a spring-loaded mechanism designed to retract instantly into the radiator shell if struck from any direction. There is a button within the vehicle which can retract/extend the emblem when pressed. She can be made of highly polished stainless steel, sterling silver or 24-carat gold, the sterling silver and gold being optional extras. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





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