Gilt bronze cylindrical mantel clock with emblems of love
French, 19th Century
Height 40cm, diameter 17cm
This fabulously quirky mantel clock is modelled to depict Cupid (or Eros), the god of Love, holding his love arrow and sat atop a snail. The lower section is set with a turning clock dial, decorated with swags of hearts, ribbons, arrows and garlands of flowers. The clock is supported by four feet in the form of snail shells.
The depiction of snails in ancient art often represents purity and virginity (because it wasn’t understood how they could reproduce). Snails are also used to symbolise patience and using your time strategically. This clock has a sweet hidden message showing that in order to find love, one needs to approach it with patience.