The Sphinx urns were among thirteen other patterns, designed for the Parterre du Midi and the Parterre du Nord at Versailles. In the 19th century, the Marquis of Hertford (1800-1870), a great admirer of Le Notre's garden designs, utilised his friendship with Napoleon III and gained the right to reproduce examples for his Chateau at Bagatelle. The Marquis' estate was gradually dispersed by his son and heir, Sir Richard Wallace (1818-1890) and then by the family secretary Sir John Murray Scott (1847-1912). The Bagatelle sphinx urns were among those given to the Sackville-West family, at Sissinghurst Castle, by Scott.
John Davis, Antique Garden Ornament, Antique Collector's Club, 1991, page 135, plate 3:13.