This spectacular Grade 1 listed country house in Gloucestershire is of Cotswold stone and dates from 1720. The consultancy was asked to source a classical statue to fill the niche on the first floor and to supervise its installation. The figure chosen was Hermes, messenger of the gods, and this is a faithful lead copy of the bronze statue of 1567 by Giambologna (1529-1608), the Italian name of the Flemish sculptor Jean de Boulogne. The original piece can be seen in the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence.
The wonderfully balanced figure is supported on a gush of air issuing from the mouth of a mask representing the South Wind. Hermes holds a caduceus (a winged staff entwined with two serpents) in his left hand. In the original piece his right index finger points to the sky, but in this alternative version Hermes carries a flaming torch, which was specially commissioned to be carved in oak before being cast in lead.
The consultancy also sourced and installed a substantial figure of Aphrodite as an eye-catcher for a pavilion in the grounds of a Grade 2* listed country house of 1780, in the ownership of the same family, in Oxfordshire. The pavilion is approached along a woodland ride and overlooks a natural lake of great beauty. Aphrodite is made of lead, mounted on a stone pedestal, and has been copied from an 18th century original piece.
© Nicholas Keeble Associates // Historic Building & Planning Consultants