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Home > Auctions > 1st September 2020 > Greek Illyrian Bronze Helmet

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LOT 0375

GBP (£) 15,000 - 20,000
EUR (€) 16,610 - 22,150
USD ($) 19,590 - 26,120

Bid History: 1   |   Current bid: £15,000

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Bid History: 1   |   Current bid: £15,000

Greek Illyrian Bronze Helmet

Mid 6th-5th century BC

A bronze archaic period helmet raised from a single sheet, the bowl of domed form with two parallel corrugated ribs to the upper surface, rectangular slot for the face, short flaring neck-guard developing behind the cheek-protectors; applied bronze strip to the rim with rivets forming a moulded band, button pin to the brow. 1.7 kg total, 36cm including stand (14 1/4"). Fine condition, neck guard chipped.

Property of a central London gentleman; previously in an old UK collection; acquired 1991; formerly in the Grossmann family collection, Bavaria, Germany, formed in the 1960s; accompanied by a report by military expert Dr. Raffaele D'Amato.
Cf. Bottini et al. Antike Helme. Handbuch mit Katalog, Mainz, 1988, pp.382-8, nos. 5 and 6; for a finer example of such a helmet from the collection of the late Christos G. Bastis, see Sotheby's New York, 9 December 1999, lot 79; see Pflug, H., 'Illirysche Helme' in: Antike Helme, RGZM Monographien 14, Mainz, 1988, pp.43-64; see Connolly, P., Greece and Rome at War, London, 1981; See Christie's, The Axel Guttmann Collection of Ancient Arms and Armour, part 1, London, 2002.
The Illyrian helmet was a clear derivation of the archaic Kegel type, as can be seen from its general form and from the embossed ridge along its lower edge (Connolly, 1981, p.60). These helmets, characterised by the triangular cheekpieces, appeared at the end of the 8th century BC, with models originally deprived of crest holders. Very soon however the presence of a crest ridge across the top became a characteristic of the type, to which a horse-hair crest would have been fitted.