About this object

Bust of Hermes or a mortal in the guise of Mercury, recognised by the well preserved petasos with wings. Bartman commented on the generic quality of the face and the impropability that it was a portrait. It is narrow in proportions but has an intense gaze, a high but regular brow and a small mouth. It is overall a Mercury of a young age. His hair is in thick curls, with each curl carving into a near circle with a deep hole in the middle. The treatment of the curls is unusual for antiquity as is the combination of large holes with rich plastic volumes. It is therefore possible that the work relates more to later works of Greek sculpture because of this strong chiaroscuro effect, characteristic of Hellenistic and later periods.
The face but not the hair were chemically treated. There is breakage only on some of the front curls and the front and the upper part of the petasos, the upper part of the wings of petasos and the side of right nostril.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date made
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Materials
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Col. Joseph W Weld, 1959
  • Collector
    Henry Blundell
  • Place collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Date collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Measurements
    395 mm x 230 mm
  • Note
    Curator's note: Blundell mentioned in his Account that the sculptor Boni had the work for sale for many years but it did not sell because of its high price. Henry Blundell displayed it in the Pantheon.
  • Related people
    Henry Blundell (Collector, previous owner); Joseph William Col Sir Weld (Previous owner)

Where is this object from?

Explore related


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    Date: 1929
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  • An Account of the Statues, Busts, Bass Relieves, Cinerary Urns, and other ancient marbles, and paintings at Ince. Collected by H.B.

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    Date: 1803

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    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Previous owners

  • Joseph William Col Sir Weld

    Owned from: 1958
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1959
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Henry Blundell

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1810
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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