François-Honoré-Georges Jacob-Desmalter (French, 1770–1841)
Amboyna on oak with gilt-bronze mounts
86 1/2 x 48 3/4 x 31 5/8 in. (219.7 x 123.8 x 80.3 cm)
Fletcher Fund, 1924 (24.230)
The psyche was so named for the heroine in La Fontaine's Les amours de Psyché, who was reputed to have looked at a full-length reflection of herself. Specific reference to the myth is in the frieze containing butterflies, symbols of Psyche. An identical gilt-bronze frieze was on a psyche made for Empress Marie Louise in 1810. The two winged fantastic creatures on the crest hold a wreath, which probably originally contained a decorative motif or monogram.