About this object

Statuette of the god Hermes ( Roman Mercury ). He stands frontally in a relaxed pose with his weight on his right leg, left leg relaxed. He wears a chlamys pinned at his left shoulder and hanging low at the back and over his left arm. In his bent left arm he carries a caduceus and in his right a purse which rests on a ram, the traditional attributes of the god Mercury. The statuette is modest and evokes the work of the 5th century BC sculptor Polykleitos or in a Polykleitan style.
There are restorations at the head and upper neck, the collar around the neck, the legs, the plinth, the left hand and part of the caduceus. The statuette has a very smooth and shiny surface that may have been the result of modern treatment.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Roman Imperial
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy
  • Date made
    1st Century AD - 3rd Century AD
  • Materials
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Col. Joseph W Weld, 1959
  • Collector
    Henry Blundell
  • Place collected
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy
  • Date collected
    1786 about
  • Measurements
    600 mm
  • Note
    Appears in NML photograph displayed in the Pantheon. In the Account Blundell refers to the iconography of the statue and the mytholody of the god and refers to another statue of a lifesize Mercury seated on a ram which was intended for his collection but sold to Count Pothooks, a Polish count. Based on this information the date of the purchase would have been 1786. Ashmole compared it to marble statues in Istanbul but there are many bronzes from the Gaul area. Bartman identified the ram as a Greek feature rather than the one found in the Roman bronzes.
  • Related people
    Henry Blundell (Collector, previous owner); Alessandro Gregorio Capponi (Previous owner); Joseph William Col Sir Weld (Previous owner)

Explore related


  • A Catalogue of the Ancient Marbles at Ince Blundell Hall

    Ashmole, Bernard

    Author: Ashmole, Bernard
    Publisher: Clarendon Press
    Date: 1929
    Description: An illustrated catalogue of the ancient sculptures collected by Henry Blundell and formerly at Ince Blundell Hall.

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

    Blundell, Henry

    Author: Blundell, Henry
    Date: 1803

  • Ancient Marbles in Great Britain

    Michaelis, A

    Author: Michaelis, A
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
    Date: 1882

  • The Ince Blundell collection of classical sculpture Volume III-The ideal sculpture

    Bartman, Elizabeth

    Author: Bartman, Elizabeth
    Publisher: Liverpool University Press
    Date: 2017
    Description: This book investigates the important antiquities collection formed by Henry Blundell of Ince Blundell Hall, near Liverpool, in the late eighteenth century. Consisting of more than 500 ancient marbles - the UK's largest collection of Roman sculptures after that of the British Museum - the collection was assembled primarily in Italy during Blundell's various 'Grant Tour' visits. As ancient statues were the preeminent souvenir of the Grand Tour, Blundell has strong competition from other collectors, British nobility and European aristocrats, monarchs, and the Pope. His statues represent a typical cross section of sculptures that would have decorated ancient Roman houses, villas, public spaces and even tombs, although their precise origins are largely unknown. Most are likely to have come from Rome and at least one was found at Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli.


Previous owners

  • Joseph William Col Sir Weld

    Owned from: 1958
    How acquired: By descent
    Owned until: 1959
    Disposal method: Donation
  • Henry Blundell

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1810
    Disposal method: Bequest
  • Alessandro Gregorio Capponi

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