Miniature herm, Alkamenes type

Late Hellenistic or Early Roman Imperial Period
1st century B.C. or A.D.

Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 038; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 107 (additional published references).


Height (overall): 21.3 cm (8 3/8 in.); height (ancient part only): 8.5 cm (3 3/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Marble, Greek mainland

Not On View


The Ancient World



A fillet circles the bearded head of Hermes, behind the two rows of corkscrew curls. A strand of hair hangs down in front of each shoulder. The beard is relatively short and blunt and the mouth rather broad. Sketchy grooves articulate the beard.
A section of the shaft is preserved, and holes for the arms of the herm are visible. The surfaces are slightly worn and have a crusty gray patina.
The Herm created by Alcamenes in the fifth century B.C. had three rows of curls, a design followed by most versions of the type.


By date unknown: Alfred Greenough Collection; bequest of Alfred Greenough Collection to Charles H. Parker; 1908: bequest of Charles H. Parker to MFA; accessioned, May 14, 1959

Credit Line

Bequest of Charles H. Parker