GRAND TOUR PARCEL GILT BRONZE BUST OF HERMES
Circa third quarter of the 19th century, unsigned
Item # 804PJT21Q
This is a powerful representation of the Greek classical hero Hermes, the personification of the Roman god Mercury. Named for the fastest moving of planets, Mercury or Hermes is attributed with winged sandals to aid his speedy flight. The planet was known both as Apollo and Hermes for its aparition as a morning star in the former and the evening star in the latter, even though Greek astronomers knew this to be the same planet and Heraclitus even proposed the possibility of it orbiting the sun rather than our earth. In full figural representations of the god, he has wings on his helmet, sandals and the snake-entwined staff in hand. The present example is a particularly excellent rendering of him as a handsome youth with strong Roman features and a powerful helmet under a full flume of feathers. The raised-relief anthemion and scrolling acanthus foliage flow across his helmet flanked by restrained wings. A parcel-gilt highlighting brings life to the edges and tips of motifs and elements throughout, these matching the dusty gold socle beautifully. His very dark original patina glows beautifully. It is such a striking and beautifully preserved work of art.
Measurements: 7” W x 5” D x 15” H (total height including socle)
Traces of oxidization to gilded socle; cleaned and polished, traces of verdigris and old grime in crevices. Original patina in exquisite condition.