Ansonia Huntress Ball Swing, Diana

This is a fine example of an American Swing clock made by the Ansonia Clock Company. This form, the swing clock, was first introduced by the Ansonia Company in the 1880s. This model, the “Huntress Ball Swing,” was introduced in the early 1900s. It first appeared in the Ansonia catalogs in 1901. In addition to this model, Ansonia offered various other statues and also other sizes.

This example measures approximately 25 inches tall overall and 18 inches tall to the top of the arm. It is considered the standard size. The patina on the figure is in good overall condition. It does have some areas of loss to the original finish. The base has been repainted black at some point but appears to be original to the clock. The mechanism and the swing is support by the figures raised left arm. The upper ball features a dial that has raised numerals. This ball also has some minor losses to the patinated finish and a small dent near the three -thirty location. The movement is encased in this top section. It is brass construction and measures almost 3 inches tall by 2.5 inches wide. 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 by the Maker on the lower left and the trademark can be found on the lower right. Below this upper ball is the pivot point for the swing Three delicate suspension springs provide the breakpoint. Below this is a rod and then a smaller ball. When this clock is running, this entire unit moves or swings like the motion of a pendulum. It is very attractive. This clock was made circa 1901 and original sold for $32.00.

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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