The Original "Silver Lady"

The photograph is of what is, almost certainly, the original RR “Silver Lady” Mascot with which Charles Sykes won the Diploma for Mascot Design at the 1911 Paris Saloon. (See V-E-V Miscellany, Nov. 1976.) It was left to my wife by her Aunt Violette Raphoul who died a year ago, and who was the model for the statuette. Charles Sykes, his wife Jessica Elkington, and Vio, as she was always called, were great friends; and Vio was his model on many occasions, including his picture of Salome which he signed “To Violette” and which is now with her sister, Mrs. Brunel. Vio was a very beautiful, artistic person with a strange, ethereal personality. Perhaps this was Sykes’ inspiration for the “Spirit of Ecstasy” ?

Monte Carlo, Norman Berry