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Figural Cartel Clock “Aurora – Goddess of Dawn”

Skulpturale Kartelluhr Aurora Göttin der Morgenröte


Vienna, around 1800

carved, painted and gilt lime wood
anchor escapement, Viennese grande sonnerie on wire gongs, repeater, turn-off for strike, indication of date, duration of two days
31½ in

Aurora (Greek: Eos) is the maiden goddess of the dawn. Described by Homer as having “rosy fingers” and a “saffron-colored robe”, she hurries ahead of the sun chariot of her brother Sol (Greek: Helios).

Countless myths swirl around this goddess: driven by jealousy over their shared lover Mars, so the tale goes, Venus cursed her to look around each morning and yearn for beautiful mortal men, causing Aurora and thus the entire firmament to blush in shame. This is how Aurora came to fall in love with the Trojan prince Tithonus, leading her to request Jupiter to make him immortal. She forgot, however, to also ask for eternal youth, upon which her lover continued to age, shrinking over time and developing an ever higher-pitched, chirping voice. In the end, the father of gods took mercy and transformed Tithonus into a cicada that has accompanied Eos ever since.

The case of this Viennese cartel clock from the period around 1800 is carved in the shape of Aurora gliding across the heavens. She pushes the veil of night aside to herald the new day. In her right hand she holds her attribute, a floral wreath – it is for she, after all, for whom the flowers open each day.

Beneath the enamel dial, the carved drapery forms a large loop that functions as a viewing window for the pendulum bob bearing the face of Sol. The movement with an anchor escapement is equipped with a Viennese grande sonnerie anda date display.