Swinging timepiece, French origin. Mystery Clock. Diana.
This is a fine example of a French Swing clock made circa 1890. This form, the swing clock, is also called a "Mystery Clock." This model features the statue of Diana and measures approximately 23.5 inches tall overall and 18 inches tall to the top of the arm. I would consider it slightly smaller than the size that is considered standard. The patina on the figure or original Bronze finish, is in very good condition. The mechanism and the swing is support by the figures raised left arm. The upper ball features a dial that is formatted with applied brass Roman style hour numerals. The movement is encased in this top section. It is brass construction. It is an eight day time only design with the pendulum swinging behind it. The plate that faces you as you open the back of the case is die stamped "Paris" on the lower left. Below this upper ball is the pivot point for the swing Three delicate suspension springs provide the breakpoint. Below this is the rod and then a smaller ball. When this clock is running, this entire unit moves or swings side to side, like the motion of a pendulum. It is very attractive.
This statue is one of the most enduring of the great Classical Goddesses, Diana is the Roman name for the Greek Goddess Artemis. Diana is a lunar divinity dedicated to the waxing crescent. She has many titles: Maiden Huntress, Mistress of the Beasts, Queen of the Night, Lady of the Grove. She is one of the virgin goddesses who was first and foremost a women’s goddess. She never married and preferred to roam the woodlands with Her retinue of nymphs and forest creatures. All young animals were sacred to Her as She was their protector. Her favorites were bears, deer, hares, cats, hounds and other animals and birds associated with the Moon.
Originally, Diana was associated with Great Mother goddesses of Asia Minor, such as Cybele. One legend says Her famous temple at Ephesus was originally built by the Amazons around a wooden image adorned with a black meteoric stone. Later, wealthy King Croesus rebuilt it into one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. Her early association with the Great Mother gained Her a reputation as a midwife and nurse. By the time She was included in the Greek pantheon She was said to be the daughter of Zeus by Leto and the sister of Apollo.
Diana was so beloved by society’s underdogs that even after Her worship was forbidden under penalty of death, She became the secret rallying goddess of those disaffected with the Roman Catholic Church. Thus it was that Diana became the Goddess of Witches during the Dark and Middle Ages in Europe, and many a woman burned at the stake died with the name of this goddess on her lips. In fact, for over 400 years, little girls could not be christened with the name Diana, such was the fear She inspired in the hearts of the Church Fathers!
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