Sterling silver and marble paperweight depicting goddess Artemis, Orion and his wife Eos.


This 925 silver plaque on black Belgian marble depicts three characters: the goddess Artemis shooting an arrow, the giant Orion and, on the right, his wife Eos ( Aurora ) Orion was a giant, son of Poseidon and Euryial, daughter of Minos, king of Crete. One of the many mythological stories that speak of him tells that, on the island of Chios, one night he courted Merope, daughter of King Enopius, who, angry at the insult, made him blind and exiled. Orion took refuge on the island of Lemnos where Hephaestus, pitied by his blindness, entrusted him to the guidance of Cedalione, who led him eastwards, as far as the sun rose; there thanks to Eos, the Dawn, he regained her sight and took her as his wife. A blue-eyed hunter, he went out at night accompanied by his faithful hound, Sirio, in search of prey. The goddess Artemis, who shared many hunts with him, fell madly in love with him and, despite her being famous for her sacred chastity, made him explicit offers. Orion declined the repeated invitations gracefully, explaining to the goddess that he could never betray her beloved bride Eos, to whom he was eternally grateful for regaining her sight. Initially Artemis put his soul in peace, admiring, indeed, the unusual fidelity of man. But when she later discovered that Orion had fallen in love with the Pleiades, the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione, and that he had begun to harass them, the goddess was blinded by anger ... on the island of Ortigia, out of jealousy, she threw a arrow killing him.