- Material: Sardonyx Shell, 15k gold tested.
- Size: 2 1/8" by 1 6/8" only cameo is 1 7/8" by 1 1/2".
- Date and Origin: Circa 1860 Italy, mounting is English. Original fitted case.
- Conditions: Immaculate, two more than slightest natural shell lines, not visible by naked eye, only visible when cameo is backlit, mentioned for accuracy, otherwise mint.
Museum Quality of Hebe feeding the eagle of Zeus. Hebe is the Goddess of Youth and cupbearer to the Gods. In this cameo Hebe is depicted while feeding the eagle of Zeus. Her face is absolutely sweetest. The carving is perfect and so well proportioned that I'm amazed looking at it. Everything is so well rendered. The delicacy of this piece is truly amazing. The innocent sensuality of Hebe is wonderfully evidenced by her nude breast and by her curly hair running on her shoulder. Her expression is serene and peaceful, it appears that she really enjoys what she's doing. 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.