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A large and striking Victorian shell cameo brooch depicting Hebe, Greek goddess of youth, feeding the eagle above the clouds of Olympus. The eagle could be either Zeus's symbolic royal bird or Zeus himself in his distinctive avian form. Hebe is holding a bowl of nectar from which the eagle drinks while she steadies his neck with her other hand. The cameo is carved in a vigorous style, the design featuring strong, sweeping curves that echo and reinforce each other. The deep chestnut brown background gives the carving even greater emphasis. It is set into a tubular gold-coloured (gold plated or similar) openwork surround with engraved leaves and a woven construction that also repeats the rhythmic lines of the cameo.
Condition is excellent for the age. What might look like vertical stress lines on the back are just surface scratches and the few faint pale lines seen under magnification on the front top left are natural to the shell. The setting shows only minor signs of wear. It fastens securely as a brooch with a firm hinged pin and curly 'c' clasp.
Presenting a refreshingly bold version of this ever-popular mythological subject, this lovely antique brooch measures 61mm x 53mm (2 3/8" x 2 1/8") including the tubular frame.
Gender: Female, Age Group: Adult, Color: White / Brown / Gold, Size: 2 3/8 x 2 1/8 inches
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Large Antique Victorian Carved Shell Cameo of Hebe and the Eagle
$210 USD SALE PENDING
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