Choose Category:

Home > Auctions > 5th December 2023 > Italic Bronze Triple-Disc Cuirass

Print page | Email lot to a friend

Back to previous page

Use mousewheel to zoom in and out, click to enlarge
Gallery loading...

LOT 0302

Sold for (Inc. bp): £9,360

15 3/4 in. (2.72 kg total, 40 cm high including stand).

Matched pair of Samnite triangular breast and backplates, a suite of 'triple-disc' type, each with three repoussé panels with carinated rim, flat spandrel above and curved on the lower sides, with perforated edges to affix to a separate mail garment; rivetted loops to the shoulders for attachment of supporting straps, and similar lateral loops with portion of round-link chain in situ; mounted on a custom-made stand.

Ex Axel Guttmann collection of ancient arms and armour, Germany (1944-2001).
with Hermann Historica, Munich, Germany.
Ex Art Ancient, London, UK, 2019.
with Sotheby’s, London, Ancient Sculpture and Works of Art, Part II, 8 December 2021, lot 155.

Accompanied by an academic report by Dr Raffaele D’Amato.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by search certificate no.11941-210864.

Cf. Connolly, P., Greece and Rome at war, London, 1981, pp. 106-108, especially fig.1 p.108 (from Alfedena); Christie's, The Axel Guttmann Collection of Ancient Arms and Armour, part 1, London, 2002, nos.73,74,79 (AG233); Christie's, The Axel Guttmann Collection of Ancient Arms and Armour, part 2, London, 2004, no.91; Lambert, C., Pastore, F., Miti e Popoli del Mediterraneo Antico, scritti in onore di Gabriella d’Henry, Salerno, 2014, fig.4, p.88 (Samnite Grave of Pontecagnano, T1573); others in Axel Guttmann Collection: AG 234/R 49; R 28/AG 135; R 48/AG 233; R 35 zu AG 160; AG 333/H 91; AG 138/R 30.

These breastplates (kardiophylax) were a reduced version of the muscled armour (statos). Many archaeological specimens of this type were found in South Italian graves (Paestum, Alfedena), and are represented on the famous statuette of a Samnite Warrior found in Sicily (Connolly, 1981, p.108) in the Louvre and on many frescoes from Paestum, or are visible on the Campanian and Lucanian pottery, representing warriors (Christie's, 2004, no.90). The triple cuirass is well attested in archaeology, and the finds of Alfadena and Paestum show that it was mainly used by the coastal Samnites. This example is fairly representative of those in which the shoulder and side plates were attached to the front and back plates by rings and hooks. Born suggested that the upper two discs of the cuirass represented the pectoral muscles, the disc below the abdominal muscles.