Large Victorian Silver Gilt Vinaigrette Hebe - The Goddess of Youth

Cohen Hewer Cheshire, Birmingham 1877
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A fine and rare large Victorian silver gilt Vinaigrette, of compressed oval form with attached suspension ring, foliate scroll decoration to the base and sides, the slightly domed lid with die-stamped panel depicting Hebe, the Greek Goddess of Youth, offering a cup to her father, Zeus, depicted as an eagle. The silver gilt interior with foliate scroll pierced grille including a flower head. The base with a shaped cartouche engraved with contemporary script initials - 'AI' (Possibly for Alfred Illingworth MP - see a similar Vinaigrette by C.H.Cheshire, presented to Mrs Alfd' Illingworth in the sold archive TRS080914).

By Cohen Hewer Cheshire, Birmingham, 1877

Hebe, in ancient Greek religion and mythology, often given the ephitet Ganymeda (meaning "Gladdening Princess"), is the goddess of youth or the prime of life. She was the cupbearer for the gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus, serving their nectar and ambrosia. She also was worshiped as the goddess of forgiveness or mercy at Sicyon.

Hebe is a daughter of Zeus and Hera, and the divine wife of Heracles (Roman equivalent: Hercules). She had influence over eternal youth and the ability to restore youth to mortals, a power that appears exclusive to her, as in Ovid's Metamorphoses, some gods lament their favoured mortals aging. According to Philostratus the Elder, Hebe was the youngest of the gods and the responsible for keeping them eternally young, and thus was the most revered by them. Her role of ensuring the eternal youth of the other gods is appropriate with her role of serving as cupbearer, as the word ambrosia has been linked to a possible Proto-Indo-European translation related to immortality, undying, and lifeforce. In art, she is typically seen with her father in the guise of an eagle, often offering a cup to him. Eagles were connected with immortality and there was a folklore belief that the eagle (like the phoenix) had the ability to renew itself to a youthful state, making the association with Hebe logical. Her equivalent Roman goddess is Juventas.

Sold - £1,250.00

In good condition with no damage or repair, the hinge just slightly loose. Minor corrosion to the interior base.
50 mm (1.97 inches)
40 mm (1.57 inches)
15 mm (0.59 inches)
32.50 Grams (1.04 troy ounces)
Stock Code