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"The Chariot of Venus" mantle clock

Object Name: Mantel clock
Date: ca. 1803-1804
Related People:
Medium: Bronze, marble, gilding, glass, wood
Dimensions: Overall (With Dome): 24 1/2 × 25 1/2 × 11 in. (62.2 × 64.8 × 27.9 cm)
Place made: Europe, France
Description: Empire style ormolu mantel clock with classical figures, including Venus in chariot drawn by a pair of swans, Cupid, and a shepherd with dog, mounted on footed rectangular marble base with canted corners; clock dial has enamel border in the form of a chariot wheel; clock stands on a wooden base and is covered by a glass dome-shaped bell jar.
Credit Line: Gift of Goodhue Livingston
Object Number: INV.235
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Marks: Engraved on pair of hearts below clock: "VS" and "AD"

Gallery Label:

This mantel clock represents the allegory of Venus and Adonis, depicting the goddess of love in a swan-pulled chariot gazing at her lover, with her son Cupid nearby. Owned by the Livingston family of New York, the clock was probably made by the French clockmaker Antoine-André Ravrio (1759-1814). A similar example, thought to have belonged to Napoleon's mother, is at Malmaison, and another, formerly at the Elysée Palace, is now at the Mobilier National.


"Seat of Empire: Napoleon's Armchair from Malmaison to Manhattan," New-York Historical Society, October 8, 2002-January 12, 2003.