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French Empire Ormolu Mantel Clock Depicting Cupid & Psyche


Exquisite early 19th century French Empire hand-chiseled ormolu mantel clock. Set on bracket feet and a rectangular base. Above, a superb inset plaque of Psyche and Cupid embracing close to a classical altar among flowers and butterflies. The circular dial with the 12 zodiac astrological signs next to Roman numerals, and centered by Cupid holding Psyche's hand.

Circa 1810

Height: 18.75" (47 cm)
Width: 9" (22 cm)
Depth: 5.25" (13 cm)

Excellent Working Condition

Cupid and Psyche is a story originally from Metamorphoses (also called The Golden Ass), written in the 2nd century AD by Lucius Apuleius Madaurensis (or Platonicus). The tale concerns the overcoming of obstacles to the love between Psyche ("Soul" or "Breath of Life") and Cupid (Latin Cupido, "Desire") or Amor ("Love", Greek Eros), and their ultimate union in a sacred marriage. Although the only extended narrative from antiquity is that of Apuleius, Eros and Psyche appear in Greek art as early as the 4th century BC. The story's Neoplatonic  elements and allusions to mystery religions accommodate multiple interpretations, and it has been analyzed as an allegory and in light of folktale, Marchen or fairy tale and myth.