Italian or French, circa 1860
A large finely carved shell cameo of Hebe and the eagle of Zeus is set in an ornate 18K gold bezel and mounted as a brooch. The corners of the bezel are accented by gold shells embellished with blue enamel.
Hebe, the daughter of Zeus and Hera, was the Goddess of Eternal Youth and the keeper of the Fountain of Youth in Greek mythology. Her Roman name was Juventas. She was known to have the ability to restore youth. She also served as the Cupbearer of Gods before marrying Heracles. Moreover, she was sometimes said to be the Patron of Brides, as well as the Goddess of Pardon and Forgiveness.
The cameo measures 55 x 43 mm (2 1/8 x 1 3/4 in.), with bezel – 63 x 53 mm (2 1/2 x 2 in.)