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Home > Auctions > 3rd December 2014 > Norman Spangenhelm Helmet

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LOT 1117

GBP (£) 5,000 - 8,000
EUR (€) 5,920 - 9,470
USD ($) 6,360 - 10,180

15 1/2" (2.2 kg, 39cm including stand).

An iron helmet formed from four triangular plates curved to accommodate the human head and with the front and rear plates overlapping the side plates by 1-1.5cm for additional protection, riveted in place; the rivets worked flat on the outer face but detectable on the inner surface; the rim with a circular hole to each side and a series of rivets; at the apex, the plates left slightly open to accept a horsehair streamer or plume; supplied with custom-made display stand.

From an old private collection; acquired in the 1960s.

Helmets of this general profile and with some form of conical crest are a long-lived military fashion, 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 is housed in the St. Petersburg Museum (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. Identified and authenticated by I. Eaves, Arms and Armour Consultant.