Roman, Imperial Period, ca. 2nd century CE. A fabulous figure of Mercury (Greek Hermes) cast from leaded bronze via the lost wax technique. Mercury stands contrapposto while nude and wears a chlamys across his left shoulder while holding a bulbous money purse in his right hand. His muscular physique adds to his mythological presentation along with layers of mottled brown and green patina. His stern countenance is composed with impressed circular eyes, fleshy cheeks and chin, a slender nose, and a bushy coiffure beneath a petasos (also petasus) helmet. Mercury was not only the messenger of the gods but also the god of business and commerce, hence the money sack in his hand. A fabulous example of Roman figural artistry! Size: 1.4" W x 3.1" H (3.6 cm x 7.9 cm); 4" H (10.2 cm) on included custom stand.
Exhibited at Ohio State University from 1986 to 1990 and Picker Art Gallery at Colgate University from 1990 to 2007.
For two fine examples of bronze Mercury figures, please see The Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession numbers 96.9.282 and 06.1057.
Provenance: ex-private Faulkner collection, Loveland, Ohio, USA, acquired in 1986 from Royal-Athena Galleries, New York, New York, USA; exhibited at Ohio State University from 1986 to 1990 and Picker Art Gallery at Colgate University from 1990 to 2007.
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Loss to left thumb and held implement as shown. Minor abrasions to limbs and body, with very light softening to some finer details. Light earthen deposits and wonderful patina throughout.