While in the end we went with a more conservative "Elephant's Foot" nomenclature for this Lasse Skovgaard design, when I first saw it I suggested calling it an "Elephant Hawkmoth" instead. The reason, well, not so simple. Though it does fall within the basic definition of an Elephant's Foot, the rounded forward face and particularly defined fluting called to mind the Sphinx, another design which, like the Elephant's Foot, originated with the late Bo Nordh. That is to say, I suspect Lasse had been aiming towards creating a bit of a Bo Nordh-inspired hybrid. So how does a species of moth come into it? Well, you see, the Elephant Hawkmoth just happens to be both of the family Sphingdae
, and is itself also referred to specifically as the Sphinx de la Vigne
- the Spinx of the Vine. That may seem a rather grand name, but then, Deilephila elpenor
is pretty much one of the most grand-looking insects
to ever flutter about the earth.
Glancing between photos of the Elephant Hawkmoth and this briar, I just couldn't help but be struck by certain aesthetic echoes; the moth's broad thorax and the delicate shading of its wings seemed to find a reflection in the organic rounding of the briar's bowl and the deep, distinct, yet smoothly graceful channels of the flanks. But in the end, it doesn't really matter what anyone calls it, I suppose - the shape is beautiful by any name.
- Eric N. Squires