Our House Officer, Robin James, chooses a favourite item from the house. 

This beautiful clock has recently been cleaned, and usually lives on the mantlepiece in our Morning Room. We don't know when it came to West Horsley Place, but our forthcoming Archive project, looking at the vast range of documents associated with the house, may turn up some further clues. 

 gilt clock with figure of woman with bow and dog

Robin looks at it in detail:

This object, displayed in the morning room at West Horsley Place, is a restoration gilt-bronze mantel clock from about 1825.

It is decorated with repeating themes of nature and the hunt, both closely associated with the goddess Diana who sits atop the case. Floral motifs adorn the front, around the clock face and across the rectangular base. Diana’s left hand is perched upon her bow with a packed quiver beside her, and this imagery is reflected by the arrows that seem to spring forth horizontally across the base through acanthus leaf designs and flowers.

As Diana leans on her right hand, she appears to tend to her hound who waits eagerly, stretching up to her in a posture very familiar to dog owners. However, her gaze is directed outwards as if scanning for her quarry during a moment of rest. With this in mind, it seems that with her left hand she is not simply supporting her bow but reaching for it, ready to continue the hunt.