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Home > Auctions > 21st February 2023 > Greek Bearded Hermes Head

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LOT 0068

GBP (£) 40,000 - 60,000
EUR (€) 45,240 - 67,860
USD ($) 49,290 - 73,930

Opening Bid
£36,000 (EUR 40,718; USD 44,358) (+bp*)

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Bid History: 0

20 1/2 in. (32.2 kg total, 52 cm high including stand).

A carved marble head of Hermes with densely curled hair, stern facial expression beneath a broad brow, luxuriant curled beard falling in waves and cut square at the lower edge; mounted on a custom-made display stand; a Roman copy after a 5th century B.C. Greek original.

with Chaucer Fine Arts Ltd, 1980s.
English private collection.

Accompanied by an academic report by Dr Marina Mattei and Dr Laura Maria Vigna.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by search certificate no.11615-199747.

Cf. Capuis L., Alkamenes, Fonti storiche e archeologiche, Firenze, 1968, p.48 ss.; Traversari G., Sculture del V-IV secolo a.C. del Museo Archeologico di Venezia, Venezia, 1973, pp.20-23, n.5; Faedo L., in Camposanto Monumentale di Pisa, Le Antichità II, a cura di Salvatore Settis, pp.158-162, n.76; Bonanome, D., in Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Le Collezioni, a cura di Carlo Gasparri e Rita Paris, Milano, 2013, p.269, n.194; Giobbe, C., in Palazzo Altemps, Le Collezioni, p.50; Gagliano, E., Hermes Propylaios (e le Charites) sull’Acropoli di Atene in Annuario della Scuola Archeologica di Atene e delle Missioni Italiane in Oriente, vol. XCII, Serie III, 14, 2014, pp.33-68

This type of this archaic sculpture can be traced back to the original of which many copies and variants have been preserved: the Hermes Propylaios by the Attic sculptor Alkamenes, a pupil of Phidias, active in the second half of the 5th century B.C. According to some theories, the herma was created for the Propylaea of the acropolis of Athens, as patron deity of doors and entrances; according to others, this type of bearded Hermes is not to be located at the Propylaea, but in various possible places inside the Acropolis.