16 December 2005
This lot is offered without a reserve
A ROMAN BRONZE HERM OF HERCULES
CIRCA LATE 2ND-EARLY 3RD CENTURY A.D.
The tapering shaft topped with a figure of the youthful hero fully modelled to the hips, tightly swathed in his lionskin, covering both hands and exposing his genitals, the lion's head at his left shoulder, his right hand pressed against his chest, his left above his hip, a leg held in each hand, the other legs and the tail each descending on a corner of the shaft, the hero's head turned sharply to his left, with short wavy hair, his furrowed brow and beardless face perhaps inspired by images of the Emperor Caracalla, the head surmounted by a circular cushion, the base of the shaft ornamented with acanthus
9 5/8 in. (24.4 cm.) high
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, New York, 30 May 1986, lot 48.
with Galerie Nina Borowski, Paris.
with Royal-Athena Galleries, New York, 1989 (Gods and Mortals, no. 87).
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C.C. Vermeule and J.M. Eisenberg, Catalogue of the Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Bronzes in the Collection of John Kluge, New York and Boston, 1992, no. 88-96.
The scale and material of the Morven herm suggest that it served as the leg of a small piece of furniture. For a range of herms in the form of Hercules, also finished to the hips, from lifesized marbles to small-scale bronzes, see nos. 1104-1171 in Boardman, "Herakles" in LIMC.
This lot is offered without reserve.
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