Rolls-Royce Spirit of Ecstasy: Still flying high

The Spirit of Ecstasy, its official symbol, marks the 110th anniversary of Rolls-Royce Motor Vehicles. On 6 February 1911, the design’s intellectual property was registered, creating a defining characteristic of the Rolls-Royce brand and one of the world’s most popular, iconic and coveted icons of luxury.

As an emblem, the Spirit of Ecstasy represents far more than just our company and our products. 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.”

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

The Spirit of Ecstasy, its official symbol, marks the 110th anniversary of Rolls-Royce Motor Vehicles. On 6 February 1911, the design’s intellectual property was registered, creating a defining characteristic of the Rolls-Royce brand and one of the world’s most popular, iconic and coveted icons of luxury. The Spirit of Ecstasy graces the bonnet of any Rolls-Royce motor car designed at the home of Rolls-Royce, Goodwood, almost unchanged throughout its long and storied existence.

Her design was taken from a bronze statuette entitled ‘Whisper’ made for his boss, motoring pioneer and Rolls-Royce early adopter, Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, by Sculptor and Illustrator Charles Sykes. With MUSE, The Rolls-Royce Art Programme, a leading protagonist in the field of moving-image art, the company’s fundamental link between the automotive and art worlds continues today.

The figurines of the first Spirit of Ecstasy stood a statuesque seven inches (c. 18cm) tall. She is a more petite three 3⁄4 inches today (9.5cm). Inside a special housing in the hat, she is safely kept out of sight until the engine starts, when she effortlessly and gracefully takes the stage by a specifically constructed mechanism known as ‘the rise.’

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