Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS


Support ANTIQUES ROADSHOW by supporting public television! Give Today
  • ON TV
  • SHOP
  • The Roadshow Archive

    Follow the Stories | Grand Rapids, Michigan (2009)

    The Story Behind the Spirit of Ecstasy Mascot


    Posted: 04.17.09

    Elliott Clark painting

  • 2071136266
  • At the Gilmore Car Museum outside Grand Rapids, appraiser Eric Silver talked antique car mascots with Mark Walberg.

    Jim McCarty and his folder

    The "Spirit of Ecstasy" is a symbol of Rolls-Royce luxury, and an enduring icon in its own right.


    Passion. Drama. Secrecy. Tragedy. All of these are part of the origin story of Rolls-Royce's "Spirit of Ecstasy." On the face of it, this car mascot — known in the U.S. as a hood ornament — is a graceful work of art meant to parallel and portray the elegance and style of a Rolls-Royce automobile. Look beneath the surface, and it's also an enduring symbol of a secret love affair. At the Gilmore Car Museum, appraiser Eric Silver shared highlights of the mascot's story, and we found a great article that gives a fuller picture of the "Spirit of Ecstasy."

    Read "The Story Behind the Spirit of Ecstasy Mascot" »

    From, a UK Web site on British culture

    See the Grand Rapids, Michigan (2009) page for a list of all appraisals from this city.

    See Also:
    The Web site of the Gilmore Car Museum.


    blog comments powered by Disqus

    ROADSHOW host Mark L. Walberg and appraiser Eric Silver visit the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, to discuss the ins and outs of antique hood ornaments, or mascots, as they're known in England. Examples include Rolls-Royce's "Spirit of Ecstasy," and an exquisite glass ornament designed by René Lalique.
    [an error occurred while processing this directive]