Antique Pair of Bronzes of Mercury & Fortuna After Giambologna & Fulconis 19th C

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Object Description

This is a truly stunning antiqque pair of French solid bronze statues of Mercury, also known as Hermes, and Fortuna, each cast after the models by Giambologna and Fulconis, dating from the mid 19th century.

Mercury is depicted beautifully standing on a gust of wind issued from the mouth of the god Zephyrus. Mercury’s heels are winged allowing the god to fly through the air and deliver messages to the Olympian gods.

Fortuna is wonderfully depicted as standing on a wheel with a gorgeous cornucopia in her right hand. In both sculptures one arm is elegantly raised up in the air pointing to the heavens.

Both bronzes are raised on a gilded base set on a remarkable Rouge Griotte circular marble plinth, signed J. De Bologne (Mercury) and Fulconis (Fortuna) respectively.

Both statues have a lovely dark brown patination which is shown in all its glory. These high-quality hot cast solid bronze statues were produced using the traditional “lost wax” process, otherwise known as the “cire perdue” method.

The attention to detail here is remarkable and this truly beautiful pair of bronze statues are sure to receive the maximum amount of attention wherever it is placed.

Condition:
In excellent condition, please see photos for confirmation.

Dimensions in cm:
Height 67 x Width 14 x Depth 28 – Mercury
Height 65 x Width 18 x Depth 31 – Fortuna

Dimensions in inches:
Height 26.4 x Width 5.5 x Depth 11.0 – Mercury
Height 25.6 x Width 7.1 x Depth 12.2 – Fortuna

Hermes – was the great Olympian God of animal husbandry, roads, travel, hospitality, heralds, diplomacy, trade, thievery, language, writing, persuasion, cunning wiles, athletic contests, gymnasiums, astronomy, and astrology.

He was also the personal agent and herald of Zeus, the king of the gods. Hermes was depicted as either a handsome and athletic, beardless youth, or as an older bearded man. His attributes included the herald’s wand or kerykeion (Latin caduceus), winged boots, and sometimes a winged travellers cap and chlamys cloak. He was known as Mercury to the Romans.

Fortuna (Latin Fortūna, equivalent to the Greek goddess Tyche) was the goddess of fortune and the personification of luck in Roman religion who, largely thanks to the Late Antique author Boethius, remained popular through the Middle Ages until at least the Renaissance.

Fortuna is often depicted with a gubernaculum (ship’s rudder), a ball or Rota Fortunae (wheel of fortune, first mentioned by Cicero) and a cornucopia (horn of plenty). She might bring good or bad luck: she could be represented as veiled and blind, as in modern depictions of Lady Justice, except that Fortuna does not hold a balance. Fortuna came to represent life’s capriciousness. She was also a goddess of fate: as Atrox Fortuna, she claimed the young lives of the princeps Augustus’ grandsons Gaius and Lucius, prospective heirs to the Empire. (In antiquity she was also known as Automatia.)

Lost Wax Method
sometimes called by the French name of cire perdue or the Latin, cera perduta is the process by which a bronze or brass is cast from an artists sculpture.

In industrial uses, the modern process is called investment casting. An ancient practice, the process today varies from foundry to foundry, but the steps which are usually used in casting small bronze sculptures in a modern bronze foundry are generally quite standardised.

Our reference: 09735

Object Details

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