About this object

Double herm, plausibly both individuals identified as water gods because of the fins and scales. The younger male is definitely associated with water, shown by the moustache of water-weed and a fish on the bust. Helbig suggested based on herms and terracotas found in the shrine of Diana at Nemi that the heads could be personification of lake Albano and Nemi. Bartman identified the piece as a modest version of a well known type of a young man associated with water but looking like a satyre and an older version executed in much more detail. The older person has similar facial features and a heavy beard with spirralling locks. The beard has acquatic plants in flat relief instead of hair and fronds hang from the lower lip onto the beard. Bartman does not rule out an association with the lakes as identified by Ashmole. The dual representation would fit the theme of transcience associated with lakes in Roman times.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date made
  • Materials
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Col. Joseph W Weld, 1959
  • Collector
    Henry Blundell
  • Place collected
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    155 mm x 95 mm x 110 mm x 3 kg
  • Note
    Ashmole noted that similar double herms were in Capitoline Museum, in the Antike Kunstvaerker museum in Copenhagen and in the unknown privat collection in England. Ashmole believed them to be personifications of two lakes from Rome: Albano and Nemi
  • Related people
    Henry Blundell ( Collector, previous owner); Joseph William Weld ( Previous owner)

Explore related


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    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.

  • Belleza y Virtud : Coleccionismo inglés de art clásico, siglo XVIII

    Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia

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    Date: 2019-03
    Description: Exhibition catalogue listing NML's loaned items to the exhibition titled: Beauty and Virtue. English collection of Classic Art. Century XVIII

  • 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 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
Object view = Humanities
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