The sphinx of Wolf City


Wolf City (1972) by Amon Düül II.

Behold another favourite album cover by a favourite band, one of several superb designs for Amon Düül II by Falk-U Rogner who was also the group’s keyboard player. Rogner’s suitably hallucinogenic cover images are worth a post of their own but this one requires attention today since I happened to solve the mystery of the location of the Düül sphinx during the recent hiatus.

Ever since I began these blog posts I’ve had a feeling that the endless trawling of image archives might one day turn up the location of this stone creature. It was only ever going to be something you’d find by accident, and that’s precisely what happened with the discovery of the drawing below in volume 4 of Materials and Documents of Architecture and Sculpture (1915) by A. Raguenet, a set of books I’ve been plundering recently for architectural details.


Compare with this photo.

The notes for the drawing offer enough information to trace the location to the Brunswick Monument in Geneva, a mausoleum built in 1879 for the Duke of Brunswick. The monument is a typically Gothic edifice guarded by a number of stone lions plus this splendid sphinx on a plinth by a pool of water. On the opposite side of the monument there’s a matching bird-headed sculpture. Amon Düül II were a German group so it was always likely that the sphinx would be in Europe somewhere, if not Germany itself. The photo below is a detail from this Flickr shot which is the best match I’ve found for the angle of the cover photo. Jean Franel was the monument architect but statues are often the work of specialist artists, and I’ve yet to find a name attached to these examples.


Photo by Till Westermayer.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The album covers archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Frémiet’s Lizard