Roman Bronze Herm
An ancient Roman bronze herm statuette depicting the head of Dionysos atop a quadrangular herm with extensions at the shoulders to accommodate garlands, and genitalia on the front.
Ca. 1st - 2nd century AD.
A Herm was a statue consisting of a vertical pillar surmounted by a human head and often with a phallus below. These structures were considered sacred to Hermes (Mercury), the patron deity of travelers, and often depicted him. They were used as boundary markers, milestones, and garden sculptures. Herms depicting Dionysos (Bacchus), Maenads, Satyrs, and Alexander the Great are also known. Many small examples in bronze are also extant.
Formerly in the J. S. collection, Pennsylvania; previously in the Maria Segers collection, Belgium, acquired in the 1970s. Inscribed under the base, "Roman. Found in Switzerland. Bought 1936."