Vienna, circa 1800
- engine turned, matt and gloss fire-gilt bronze (ormolu), supporting figurines in the shape of satyrs, original gold stamped leather case
- verge escapement with fusee, Viennese grande sonnerie on bells, repeater, turn-off for strike, alarm on bell
- 6 ¾ in
Even in ancient Greece, satyrs were popular motifs in the visual arts, especially in vase painting. These merry, mischievous hybrid creatures were an essential part of any banquet held by the god of wine, Dionysos (in Latin: Bacchus). Their wild dancing, music-making, jokes and pranks made these snub-nosed forest spirits highly coveted guests at any feast. Originally depicted with the ears and tails of horses or donkeys, satyrs were increasingly equated with the Roman fawns and thus, like them, furnished with the horns and lower bodies of goats.
The engine turned case of this early Austrian Empire style carriage clock is borne by two fire-gilt, patinated satyr figures. Their rascally faces bestow this timepiece a very special charm. The original gold stamped leather case in which this precious clock was carefully kept safe while on the road has remained intact throughout the centuries. This beautiful piece comes from the distinguished collection of Professor Dr. Hans von Bertele.