- Material: Cornelian Shell, 15 k gold tested.
- Size: 3 1/8" by 2 5/8", only cameo is 2 3/8" by 1 7/8"
- Date and Origin: Circa 1850 Italy. Original fitted box.
- Conditions: A tiniest stress lines just above the largest eagle's wing, another lightest one just below the other wing at circa 10.00 hours. Both lines don't go through the shell, they are only on the back. Both are not visible from the front, you can see them a bit only when the cameo is backlit.
Highest quality Museum quality cameo depicting Hebe feeding the Eagle of Zeus. This cameo makes me speechless because of its grace and delicacy. Everything in this piece speaks about art and the carver who made this work was just a true artist. Look at the beauty of Hebe, her face is so pretty and at the same time so regal. Note the pearls in her hair and the crown of plaited hair. Look with how much grace she holds the eagle's head. Her dress is softly leant on her shoulder leaving it exposed, you can note the ruched dress which leaves a part of her breast nude. Everything is wonderfully carved. This cameo is a real work of art. The frame is another artwork, finely chiselled and decorated. This subject is really amazing. This is another masterly carved cameo. A very desirable collectors piece, rare and museum quality cameo.
A bit of History:
In Greek mythology, is the goddess of youth (Roman equivalent: Juventas). She is the daughter of Zeus and Hera. Hebe was the cupbearer for the gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus, serving their nectar and ambrosia, until she was married to Herakles (Roman equivalent: Hercules); her successor was the young Trojan prince Ganymede. Another title of hers, for this reason, is "Ganymeda." She also drew baths for Ares and helped Hera enter her chariot. Hebe had two children with her husband Heracles: Alexiares and Anicetus. The name Hebe comes from a Greek word meaning "youth" or "prime of life". Juventas
likewise means "youth", as can be seen in such derivatives as juvenile. In art, Hebe is usually depicted wearing a sleeveless dress. There is a statue of Hebe, by Robert Thomas 1966 in Birmingham city centre, England. Antonio Canova also sculpted four different statues of Hebe: one of them is in the Museum of Forlì, in Italy.