- Material: Sardonyx Shell, 15K gold tested .
- Size: 2 14/32" by 2 2/32"
- Date and Origin: Circa 1860 Italy, frame is surely English.
- Conditions: Mint.
I really don't know where to start to describe this cameo as its beauty takes my breath away. Isn't it the most beautiful Hebe you have ever seen? It is a more than Museum Quality and huge cameo. Her face is absolutely the sweetest one ever carved. The carving is perfect in every details, a three dimensional one. Everything is so perfectly rendered that I'm amazed looking at it. Look how the carver used the shell to evidence her face, her hair, the eagle. The delicacy of this piece is truly amazing. The shell is perfect, no lines at all, the white spot is just the color of the shell that was lighter in that point. That spot is not due to a contact to the shell with fire trying to repair the frame as the frame is in immaculate condition too, no sign of repairing on it. The frame too is simply spectacular, totally engraved with floral motifs. Simply incredible. This subject seems to jump out from the shell, everything is so realistic, you can also see the nipple of her breast, just a bit carved. This subject was very popular in the Victorian era, probably after a painting of Sir Willian Beechey (England 1753/1839), now in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge England. This is one of most beautiful cameos I have ever seen, the pictures speak by themselves. 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.