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Viking or Norman Spangenhelm

Antiquities - Arms and Armour

LOT 0311

GBP (£) 6,000 - 8,000
EUR (€) 6,680 - 8,910
USD ($) 7,890 - 10,530
Additional Fees*

Sold for (Inc. premium): £6,696

11th century AD

A four plate iron helmet, constructed of triangular sections, skillfully made to accommodate the curvature of the human head and with a slight point at the apex; contoured so that the front and back plates overlap the side-plates by 1-2cm, with iron rivets passing through this overlap to secure them in position; the rivets worked flat into the surface of the helmet, almost invisible from the outside but detectable on the inner surface; the inverted lower rim furnished with an additional series of rivets, probably to accommodate a lining; two empty rivet-holes at the base of the side-plates, where the cheek-plates were originally attached; the plate-junction at the apex left slightly open, allowing a plume or horsehair streamer to be inserted, or a conical covering plate to be attached; including a custom-made display stand. 1.9 kg, 40 cm including stand, helmet 19 cm (15 3/4", helmet 7 1/2").

Fine condition, professionally cleaned; contemporary repair; damage typical of a blow involving a right-handed combatant.
Condition report [Click to show]

Formerly in an old private collection. Authenticated by I. Eaves, Arms and Armour Consultant; and an XRF ancient metal test certificate from Oxford X-ray Fluorescence Ltd accompanies the piece.

Curtis, H. M., 2,500 Years of European Helmets, North Hollywood, 1978; Denny, N. & Filmer-Sankey, J., The Bayeux Tapestry, London, 1966; Kirpicnikow, A. N., Russische Helme aus dem Frahen Mittelalter Waffen- und Kostamkunde, 3rd Series, Vol. 15, pt. 2, 1973; Menghin, W. The Merovingian Period - Europe Without Borders, Berlin, 2007, p.326-7, item I.34.4.

Helmets of this general profile and with some form of conical crest are a long-lived military fashion in the Black Sea region, and appear in designs on the bone facing of a Khazar saddle of 7th-8th century date from the Shilovskiy gravefield (Samara region); a similar helmet (of presumed 5th century AD date) is housed in the St. Petersburg Musum (inventory reference PA72), previously in the MVF Berlin until 1945 under inventory ref.IIId 1789i. The rivetted-plate construction was employed across Europe from the Migration Period through to the 12th century: it is this form which appears on the heads of English and Norman warriors in the Bayeux tapestry.

Tuesday 23rd May 2017 to Saturday 27 May 2017 - Antiquities & Coins

TimeLine Auctions Ltd arranges printed catalogue rostrum Auctions, eAuctions and Timed Auctions where we offer antiquities, ancient artefacts / artifacts, antiques, collectibles, coins, medals and books for public sale.

Lot No. 0311

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