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Home > Auctions > 24th November 2020 > Medieval German Great Helm

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LOT 0468

GBP (£) 8,000 - 10,000
EUR (€) 8,810 - 11,010
USD ($) 10,380 - 12,970

Opening Bid
£7,200 (EUR 7,930; USD 9,339) (+bp*)

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Medieval German Great Helm

Circa 1320 AD

A well-preserved iron helmet composed of five plates joined by rivets, two plates for the upper back and front and two for the lower part, the top formed of one plate attached by eighteen iron rivets; shaped nose-guard dividing the eye-holes, thirty-one holes to each side of the lower part for ventilation. 2.1 kg, 28cm (11"). Fair condition.

From a private family collection; previously acquired from a collection formed before 1990; thence by descent; accompanied by an academic report by military specialist Dr Raffaele D'Amato; this lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate number no.10209-167300.
See Müller-Hickler, H., 'Über die Funde aus der Burg Tannenberg', in ZfHW XIII, Neue Folge 4, 1934, pp.175-181; Scalini, M., 'Protezione e segno di distinzione: l'equipaggiamento difensivo nel duecento' in Scramasax (ed.), Il Sabato di San Barnaba, la battaglia di Campaldino,11 giugno 1289-1989, Milano, pp.80-98; Žákovský P., Hošek J., Cisár V., 'A unique finding of a great helm from the Dalečín castle in Moravia', in Acta Militaria Medievalia, VIII, 2011, pp.91-125; Scalini, M., A bon droyt, Spade di uomini liberi, cavalieri e Santi/Epées d'hommes libres, chevaliers et saints, Milano, 2007.
The helmet, a staro, i.e. with a cylindrical shape and composed of five plates (like the Dargen specimen, see Žákovský & Hošek, 2011, fig.9:A) seems to have been in use until the last decades of the 13th century, as can be seen in the iconography of the seals of Cavalcante de Cavalcanti (AD 1250-1260, Scalini, 1989, p.85), the Autrée d'Espagne, the Codex Marciano XII in the Marciana Library in Venezia and various other artworks. Around 1280 AD, the structure of the Great Helm underwent an evolution, especially in the area of central Italy. It went through various changes, as can be seen on the seal of Sozzo Guicciardini (Scalini, 1989, p.87), in which the simple ventilation holes were substituted by squared windows of larger dimensions.