Gilded Masonic Mantle Clock

This beautiful mantle clock depicts several different Masonic, Greek, Indian and Classical themes. On the base are two female griffins. The griffin is a mythical creature that has the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion. Sometimes it is depicted as having a long snake for a tail. Most of the time, only the female ...has wings and males have spikes on their backs instead of wings.

The griffin is said to be native to India, although nobody knows for sure exactly where it came from. These winged monsters would find gold in the mountains and built nests from it. Of course, this lured hunters, so griffins kept a very hostile guard over their nests. They would eat the men and devour their horses.

Griffins are usually heroic symbols. They are well known for their speed, ability to fly and having eyes like an eagle, as well as the strength and courage of a lion. In hieroglyphics, griffins represent heat and summer. In Assyria (an ancient empire of western Asia,) both the griffin and the dragon were symbols of wisdom. In Roman art, griffins are often pulling the chariot of Nemesis (goddess of justice and revenge).
In Greek mythology the griffins were always at war against a race of one-eyed humans called Arimaspians who were constantly trying to steal their gold.

Between the griffins appears Dionysus or Dionysos the ancient Greek God of wine, parties/festivals, madness and merriment. He represents not only the intoxicating power of wine, but also its social and beneficial influences. His symbols are the grape vine, ivy, and thyrsus.

Above him is an Owl with two cherubs supporting the dial. In certain cultures (China, Egypt, India) the symbolic meaning of owl is associated with death, but you must understand that the owl is not a symbol of death per se. Rather it was revered (honored) as being the guardian of the after-life a highly respected emblem indeed.

Taking symbolism from the owl directly, it is noteworthy that it is a creature of the night. Nocturnal creatures are symbolic of inner-knowing, psychic ability, and intuition so too is the owl.

Above the dial is an Indian God that might represent Shiva. Shiva is often shown garlanded with a snake. Shiva is seen as the Supreme God. In Judaism, shiva is the week-long period of grief and mourning for the seven first-degree relatives: father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, and spouse. (Grandparents and grandchildren are traditionally not included). As most regular activity is interrupted, the process of following the shiva ritual is referred to as "sitting" shiva. Shiva is a part of the customs for bereavement in Judaism. This is a week-long period of grief and mourning. Observance of shiva is referred to by English-speaking Jews as "sitting shiva". During this period, mourners traditionally gather in one home and receive visitors.

At the top of the clock sits another cherub holding an hourglass. Unlike most other methods of measuring time, the hourglass concretely represents the present as being between the past and the future, and this has made it an enduring symbol of time itself.

The hourglass, sometimes with the addition of metaphorical wings, is often depicted as a symbol that human existence is fleeting, and that the "sands of time" will run out for every human life. It was used thus on pirate flags, to strike fear into the hearts of the pirates' victims. In England, hourglasses were sometimes placed in coffins, and they have graced gravestones for centuries.

Around the base and the dial are the Masonic working tools and other various symbols. This mantle clock is 12 inches wide and stands almost 30 inches tall.





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