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Attractive Roman Marble Hand of Hermes with Purse

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Ancient World: Roman: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1150907
Apolonia Ancient Art
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290 Fillmore St. #D
Denver, CO. 80206
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This attractive piece is a Roman marble that is in the form of a human hand that is seen holding a purse and/or moneybag. This piece dates circa 1st-2nd century A.D., and is approximately 2.5 inches long by 2.2 inches high. This piece is nearly a complete example of a human hand, as it is broken in the upper wrist, and is a fragment from a larger statue. This piece has a light tan patina, has some spotty dark brown mineral deposits, and is a superb qaulity marble. The hand is seen holding a purse and/or moneybag, which is also an attribute of the Greek god Hermes/Roman god Mercury, as Hermes and Mercury were both a god of merchants that presided over trade. The hand also appears to be that of a young man, as the fingers are slender and the upper part of the hand appears to be somewhat feminine in nature. The subsequent Roman creations of Hermes were often modeled after the early Greek 4th century B.C. creation of Hermes by Praxiteles, which was found at Olympia in 1877. (For a description of this piece, see "A Handbook of Greek Art", by Gisela Richter, Phaidon Press Limited, Oxford, 1987, p. 144.) This prototype statue of Hermes by Praxiteles is a young man, with slight feminine features, and is portrayed with a convention of classical Greek art that portrayed the gods and goddesses as being eternally young. The marble piece offered here also has these features which not only point this fragment as likely being attributed to Hermes, but also illustrates an earlier Greek convention of art. (Another example approximately 2.75 inches long was offered in Christie's Antiquities, London, April 2012, no. 312. 700-1,000 Pound estimates, 1,500 Pound/$2,427.00 realized.) The piece offered here is a nice scarce piece with a high degree of eye appeal. This piece is also mounted on an attractive custom plexiglas stand. Ex: Private French collection. Ex: Private New York collection. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition: