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Home > Auctions > 30th November 2021 > Graeco-Pontic Tinned Chalcidian Helmet

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LOT 0290

GBP (£) 5,000 - 7,000
EUR (€) 5,880 - 8,230
USD ($) 6,660 - 9,320

Sold for (Inc. bp): £5,715

Graeco-Pontic Tinned Chalcidian Helmet

Early 4th century BC

A tinned bronze helmet of Type V, Kunze Group VII, the bowl hammered from a single piece with a blunt central ridge, the lower part of the bowl separated by an indented shoulder; arched cut-outs for ears and eyes, flanged ear protectors and a short neck guard to the rear, short lanceolate nose-guard developing into thick eyebrows with flared edges; the lower edge fitted with hinged cheek pieces; accompanied by a custom-made display stand. 1.5 kg total, helmet: 32.5cm (12 3/4"). Fine condition, some restoration.

Property of a London gallery; previously in an English private collection 1998-2020; formerly in a private Austrian collection, 1974-1998; accompanied by an archaeological 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.10871-178854.

See Ohly, D., Die Ägineten, Die Ostgiebelgruppe, Munich, 1976; Pflug, H., 'Chalkidische Helme' in: Antike Helme, RGZM Monographien 14, Mainz, 1988, pp.137-150; Chernenko, E.V., The Scythians 700-300 BC, Hong Kong, 1998; Brinkmann, V., Wünsche, R. (eds.), Bunte Götter. Die Farbigkeit antiker Skulptur. Staatliche Antikensammlungen und Glyptothek, Munich, 2004; Jonovski, Trakits (The Thracians), 7th century BC-1st century AD, Sofia, 2010 (in Bulgarian).

The Chalcidian type of ancient Greek helmet was essentially a lighter and less restrictive form of the Corinthian helmet. Later Chalcidian helmets had hinged cheek-pieces that were anatomically formed to fit closely to the face. The representation of these helmets with mobile and raised cheek-pieces (type V) appear on Attic vase paintings from the early 5th century BC, although the first four typologies still show fixed elements for the face protection as in their Corinthian prototypes. Contemporary to these representations are the sculptures of the temple of Aphaia in Aegina, where these helmets are widely represented and which represent the first examples of Chalcidian helmets with a short nose-guard. The sculptures of the Temple of Aegina also show how these Greek helmets were often painted: the bowl of the sculpted Chalcidian helmets show traces of dots in blue colour (Ohly, 1976, n.38 pp.94ff.), and the polychrome (which could have different variants) has been restored by German archaeologists (Brinkmann & Wünsche, 2004, p.107).