Symbolism: the Ouroboros
The ouroboros or uroboros is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent eating its own tail. Originating in ancient Egyptian iconography, the ouroboros entered Western tradition via Greek magical tradition and was adopted as a symbol in Gnosticism and Hermeticism and most notably in alchemy.
The term derives from Ancient Greek οὐροβόρος, from οὐρά oura ‘tail’ plus -βορός -boros ‘-eating’.The ouroboros is often interpreted as a symbol for eternal cyclic renewal or a cycle of life, death, and rebirth.
In the case of our clock, the Ouroboros contrasts the scythe, which stands for relentless impermanence and death.
Below the cartouche, you see a nice silvered Roman and Arabic chapter ring, a matted centre with pendulum aperture, ringed winding holes and alarm-setting disc, and elaborate pierced silvered hands.
The clock has a large rectangular movement united by four pinned vase-shaped pillars, with pivotted verge escapement and short bob pendulum, striking the hours and the quarters on two bells and hammers.