Sphinx, (fr. sphinx), is a monstrosity of Egyptian origin, composed of the head and breast of a woman, the body of a lion, and the wings of an eagle. It is more often used as a crest than in coats of arms.
Argent, on a fesse engrailed azure three mullets of the field, in chief a sphinx proper, all within a bordure engrailed gules--MOORE[as borne by Sir John Moore, K.B., the hero of Corunna].
Gules, three bars or, on a bend ermine a sphinx between two wreaths of laurel proper; on a chief embattled, a view of a fortified town with the word ACRE thereunder--CAMERON, co. Argyll.
Ermine, on a fesse engrailed azure three fleurs-de-lis or; in chief two branches of palm in saltire vert; in base a sphinx couchant proper--BERRY, Catton, Norfolk; extinct Baronetcy, created 1806.
Vert, a fesse engrailed argent surmounted of another gules between three harpies of the second crined or--MOODY, co. Wilts; Baronetcy, 1621.
Azure, a harpy displayed, crined, crowned and armed or--Given as the Insignia of NUREMBURG. [Guillim, ed. 1632, p. 263.]
De gueules, semé de fleurs-de-lis d'argent à une harpie de même--CALOIS DE MESVILLE.
Allied to the harpy is a badge which is found sometimes carved on stonework during the reign of Richard III., and is usually attributed to this king. It is supposed, however, to represent a falcon, not a vulture, with the head of a woman.