A sandalled foot of the minor god Hermes. The cast may be of part of the statue known as 'Hermes holding the infant Dionysus', now in the Archaeological Museum, Olympia, in Greece.
Hermes was believed to have been the son of Zeus and Maia and the brother of Apollo. Although Hermes is best known as the messenger god, he was also the god of herds and flocks, music, travellers and accompanied the dead on Charon's boat to Hades. He is often shown carrying the herald's wand (the caduceus), the traveller's hat (with or without wings), and wearing winged sandals.
The mould from which this cast was taken is just one of the many different subjects produced by the firm of Domenico Brucciani in the early 20th century. Based in Covent Garden, in London, D. Brucciani & Co manufactured a large number of moulds taken from a diverse range of subjects: architectural reliefs and mouldings, natural history subjects, and, more famously, direct moulds taken from Michelangelo's 'David'. The casts produced from these moulds were sold to schools and colleges for use in 'life drawing' classes.