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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.


Watercolour and gouache over lithographic line, on laid paper


Inscribed: Ie Lithoge de C. M. R des Marais 13


50.80cm wide   68.60cm high (20.00 inches wide  27.01 inches high)