APOLLO AND BACCHUS: AN ALLEGORICAL FIGURAL CLOCK

APOLLO AND BACCHUS: AN ALLEGORICAL FIGURAL CLOCK

1820 Continental

Offered by Charles Plante Fine Arts

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To be executed in gilt bronze; enamel dial within blue band

A dancing Bacchus and Bacchante displaying a lyre containing the clock above a Bacchic trophy, the garlanded frieze with thyrsus and double pipe motifs; on toupie (spinning top) feet 15in. high

This clock initially seems loaded with purely Bacchic imagery, as Satyrs and Bacchantes formed the retinue of Bacchus. Thus the trophy includes a Bacchante's tambourine, bunches of grapes and a ewer and wine cup for convivial drinking, whereas the frieze features the Satyrs' double pipes and Bacchus's thyrsus staff, essentially a symbol of fertility. This is all appropriate imagery for a dining room clock. However, the Bacchic theme is tempered by the contrasting symbolism of the lyre, associated with Apollo and his Muses. Bacchus and Apollo represented the two contrasting aspects of Man; Bacchus the darker, libertine side of Man's nature, in contrast to Apollo's standing for the restrained, civilized and creative.

A clock of exactly this size and design was sold at Christie's London, March 19, 1970, lot 38.
Dimensions
Height 67.40 cm (26.54 inches)
Width 50.80 cm (20.00 inches)
Medium
Watercolour, gouache and pen and ink, on laid paper
Charles Plante Fine Arts

Charles Plante Fine Arts
50 Gloucester Street
London
SW1V 4EH

+44 (0)20 7834 3305
+44 (0)7798 626249
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