HEBE: AN ALLEGORICAL FIGURAL CLOCK

HEBE: AN ALLEGORICAL FIGURAL CLOCK

1820 Continental

Offered by Charles Plante Fine Arts

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To be executed in gilt bronze, rouge and black marble; enamel dial; black marble platform

A female figure with ewer and wine cup, one elbow resting on an altar topped by a lyre and a laurel wreath and containing the clock, its dial surrounded by floral motifs, a half-column to the side supporting a two-handled covered urn. The frieze with quivers suspending swags of rose flowers, with butterflies above 13in. high

Hebe, the Greek goddess of Youth, (Roman: Juventas), was the daughter of Jupiter and Juno and wed Hercules on his apotheosis to Olympus, the seat of the gods. She was cupbearer and general handmaiden to the gods, hence the winged caps to the front of the altar below the dial in the present design. A wine ewer and cup were her attributes. She is most frequently depicted offering an eagle (Jupiter in one of his guises) a cup of nectar that she has just poured from her ewer.

The initially intractable identification of the allegory in this design is confirmed by two nearly identical clocks in the Spanish royal collection, but in gilt-bronze mounted cut crystal and with an eagle in place of the lyre and laurel wreath; see Carvajal, 237, #221 & 324, #313. Another clock in the same collection, wholly in gilt bronze, the composition in reverse, has a cheval glass swung between the displayed wings of a swan, representing Jupiter's disguise as a swan in the myth of Leda and the Swan; see Carvajal, 199, #181.
Dimensions
Height 68.60 cm (27.01 inches)
Width 50.80 cm (20.00 inches)
Medium
Watercolour and gouache over lithographic line, on laid paper
Signed/Inscribed
Inscribed: Ie Lithoge de C. M. R des Marais 13
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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