Hebe Feeding the Eagle of Zeus
 
 
  • Material: Cornelian Shell, 15K gold tested .
  •  Size:  2 1/2" by 2"
  •  Date and Origin: Circa 1870 Italy, frame  is probably English.
  • Conditions: A couple of light stress lines on the back, a tiny surface chip on the back at circa 11.00 hours, not visible from the front.
Excellent Quality and huge cameo depicting Hebe the Goddess of Youth and cupbearer to the Gods.. In this cameo Hebe is depicted while feeding the eagle of Zeus. The carving is perfect and well proportioned. Everything is so well rendered. The frame is simple but elegant.  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 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.