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Large late Victorian spelter figure of Mercury,
after the original by Giambologna, standing aloft a gust of wind from the mouth of Zephyr, wearing winged helmet and holding torch aloft in his right hand, his left clasping a Caduceus, on turned base, all raised on later hexagonal plinth, c.1880, possibly a newel-post lamp standard originally.
Giambologna (1529-1608) was a Flemish sculptor who spent the majority of his life in Italy working for the Medici family. He was a highly celebrated artist with famous works including Rape of the Sabine Women (1579-82), The Fountain of Neptune in Bologna (1563-6) and this statue of Mercury. Giambologna modelled the young God poised on one foot standing on a gust of wind from the mouth of Zephyr, with one arm pointed heavenwards, the other holding his caduceus, delivering a message to Jupiter. Four versions of the statue are known to exist – this one is after the fourth made in 1580 which to become the fountain figure at the Villa Medici in Rome. In 1780 it was moved to the Uffizi museum in Florence and in 1865 moved to Bargello National Museum where it remains to this day. Another version exists in the Louvre Museum, with a copy at the V&A, Kensington.