For centuries commemorative funerary monuments have been erected as poignant reminders of the lives and achievements of previous generations. The early years of the eighteenth century witnessed a rise in the erection of public statues and monuments. The demand for such work could not be met by stone masons alone and aloud for Mrs Coade's business to create a steady supply of monuments at a comeptitive price. Her etchings and catalogue reveal a choice of stock models which could be varied according to the customer's order.
A similar figure to the present lot by Coade and dated 1792 was sold Christie's at Wrotham Park, 21st June 1994, lot 199, £51,000.
Two variants on this theme by Coade are known to have been produced; the present type, with sickle to his right hand and an hour glass resting in the palm of his left hand. The other type as offered in the above sale again has an hour glass in his left hand but his right arm is raised to support a sundial. The modelling closely relates to that of Coade's River God figure, noted in the catalogue of 1784, which can be attributed to the sculptor John Bacon (d.1799), with whom Mrs Eleanor Coade (d.1796) was in partnership (see A. Kelly, op cit p.62). The same Chronos figure is featured alongside the sarcophagus of Dame Anne Henniker (d.1793) in Rochester Cathedral and its design appears to have been mistakenly attributed to the sculptor Thomas Banks in the Gentleman's Magazine, 1794, part 1, p.410. (see A. Kelly, op cit p.250). An engraving with Father Time is also featured as the frontispiece to the book of etchings of Coade's Gallery, which also includes this figure (see Kelly, op cit, p.66). Another sun-dial commissioned by the architect Sir John Soane (d.1837) is discussed by A. Kelly, Sir John Soane and Mrs Eleanor Coade, Apollo, 1989; while one purchased by James Baxter for his Turnham Green house in July 1818 was described as "A statue of Time with scythe and hour-glass complete with rustic plinth. 18 pounds. (A. Kelly, op cit, 1990, p.144).
A six foot figure of Time is listed as item no.20 in A Descriptive Catalogue of Coade's Artificial Stone Manufactory of 1784.