An Enchanting 19thC European Carved Polychrome Figure of Cupid


Origin: Northern European
Period: Mid / Late Nineteenth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1860-80
Height: 9.5 inches
Width & Depth: 3.75 inches (Base)

The finely carved and well-proportioned figure, standing with upturned head, painted with polychrome highlights and standing on a stylised wooden pedestal base with floral decoration.

Certainly from a larger composition, and possibly from a fairground organ or carousel, (for there is a small hole drilled to the underside of the base for attachment), this representation of Cupid would have once carried a bow, now lacking; his quiver of arrows is still present.

The quality of the carving is very high, and the painting of equal skill, with the detail to the eyes, cheeks and hair particularly pleasing. There is some damage to one wing, and to both the hands, but the face, head and rest of the torso, including the feet and base, are all sound.

In Roman mythology, Cupid (from the Latin cupido, meaning "desire") is the god of desire, affection and erotic love. He is the son of goddess Venus and god Mars and in popular culture, the icon of Valentine's Day and the personification of love and courtship in general.

Hugely appealing, this wonderfully decorative figure instantly adds a certain gravitas and charm to any space lucky enough to bear him.