cupbearer of the gods

Elegant silver frame with shell cameo of Ganymede, around 1890

Ganymede (Greek Γανυμήδης [Ganymếdês] "the shining one", Roman: Catamitus) was in Greek mythology a son of the Trojan king Tros and the "fairest of mortals". Zeus, the father of the gods, fell in love with the beautiful boy and abducted him to Mount Olympus to serve as cupbearer to the gods and live forever. He was often depicted in this capacity, both in ancient times and in modern times: The scene enabled artists to demonstrate their skills by depicting a beautiful youth; not least, the erotic significance of the tale certainly inspired one artist or another: among others, there are drawings by Michelangelo, paintings by Rubens and Rembrandt, as well as poems by Goethe and Hölderlin - Goethe's poem was also set to music by Franz Schubert - and so the Ganymede motif runs through the arts. A well-known depiction comes from Bertel Thorvaldsen, the important Danish sculptor of classicism. He created a statuary group in 1817, which quickly became widely known in numerous copies and prints; the original is in the Thorvaldsen Museum in Copenhagen (Inv. No. A44). It shows Ganymede kneeling before the eagle of Zeus - much as depicted here. Apparently an engraving after Thorvaldsen's image finding served as a model for the cameo cutter. The cameo and its silver frame were created in the late 19th century. Its fine rococo forms and the elegant scene of love between gods and men breathe the pleasure of beauty - soon to adorn your desk?

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We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.

If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.