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Home > Auctions > 6th September 2022 > Urartian Helmet with Serpents

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LOT 0328

Estimate
GBP (£) 10,000 - 14,000
EUR (€) 11,960 - 16,740
USD ($) 12,180 - 17,050

Opening Bid
£9,000 (EUR 10,760; USD 10,963) (+bp*)

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Bid History: 0
URARTIAN HELMET WITH SERPENTS
8TH-7TH CENTURY B.C.

A broad, conical bronze Urartian or Assyrian helmet hammered from a single sheet, the front with a raised abstract linear motif, three circumferential ribs above the brim, the arched ribs on the front with round terminals shaped as stylised snake heads and arranged in groups of three, forming linear motifs which simultaneously represent apotropaic eyebrows, flanking a central rib running down from the apex of the helmet and terminating with a stylised animal head; pierced holes to the sides for fastening a leather lining and cheek-pieces; mounted on a custom-made display stand. 12 in. (17 in.) (544 grams, 30.5 cm high (1.9 kg total, 43 cm high including stand)).

PROVENANCE:
Acquired before 1972.
Formerly with a central London gallery.
Property of a London gentleman.
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 AIAD certificate no.11384-191981.

LITERATURE:
Cf. Barnett R.D., Watson, W., ‘Russian Excavations in Armenia’ in Iraq, vol.14, no.2, pls.XXXII,2; Calmeyer, P., Datierbare Bronzen aus Luristan und Kirmanshah, Berlin, 1969, p.88 (B), fig.90; Borchardt, J., Homerische Helme: Helmenformen der Ágāis in ihren Beziehungen zu orientalischen und europäischen Helmen in der Bronze-und frühen Eisenzeit, Mainz, 1972, pp.103ff., fig.9, p.107, 10-12, p.108; pl.34,4; Born H., Seidl U., Schutzwaffen aus Assyrien und Urartu, Sammlung Axel Guttmann IV, Mainz, 1995, figs.1-4, 40,96, pls.II, IV-V (AG 424,504); Dezső, T., Oriental Influence in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean, Helmet traditions in the 9th-7th Centuries B.C.: the Patterns of Orientalisation (British Archaeological Reports,S691), Oxford, 1998; Christie’s, The art of the warfare, the Axel Guttmann collection, Part II, Wednesday 28 April 2004, London, 2004, pp.38-39 no.39; Gorelik, M., Weapons of Ancient East, IV millennium BC-IV century BC, Saint Petersburg (2003) in Russian, pl.LXI, nn.88-89-90.

FOOTNOTES:
Our helmet presents strong similarity with a specimen from Kurdistan, North of Kirmanshah and South of Saqqiz (Borchard, 1972, fig.9, p.107), and could be collocated to type III of the Urartian helmets according the classification of Borchard. This category is oriented towards the shape of the various Assyrian spiked helmets, and Barrett and Watson classified these helmets as of Assyrian type (Barnett & Watson, 1952, p.143). In the 8th and especially in the 7th century B.C., sphero-conical helmets of Assyrian type spread to Urartu and are archaeologically represented by a large quantity of specimens (Gorelik, 2003, Pl. LXI, 77, 85-92). Sometimes they differ from the Assyrian ones having an exaggeratedly long top.

CONDITION