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Lot 0008
Magna Graecia, Adriatic Sea region, ca. 5th to 4th century BCE. A striking Chalcidian helmet comprised of hammered tinned bronze, so named as this helmet form was initially depicted on pottery believed to derive from the Euboean city of Chalcis. The Chalcidian helmet was much lighter and less cumbersome than other Greek helmets, distinguished by curved cheek pieces, this example with hinged rather than continuous cheek pieces. Beyond this coveted form is the gorgeous silvery sheen and green patina. Custom stand. Size: 10" L x 8.75" W x 12.125" H (25.4 cm x 22.2 cm x 30.8 cm)

The Chalcidian helmet was created in order to improve upon the Corinthian helmet, as its design allowed for better vision and hearing. The helmet consisted of a hemispherical dome with a medial ridge, a contoured V-shape above the brow continuing as an occipital rib around the form, and pronounced arched brows as we see in this example; beneath this, a pair of cheek pieces (either hinged or not; hinged cheek pieces made the helmet easier to place on the head) and a continuous narrow, flared neck guard at the rear, with sizable c-shaped repousse loops at either side for the wearer's ears. Between the cheek pieces at the front, makers created a pointed, narrow nasal bar to protect the warrior's nose. Interestingly, Chalcidian helmets continued to be worn by warriors through the era of Alexander the Great; spear wielding Hoplites in particular favored Chalcidian helmets. Scholars believe that the Chalcidian helmet later developed into the iconic Attic helmet of classical warriors.

Chalcidian helmets may be found in elite museum collections such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the British Museum. Searching for true comparables featured at other auction houses has been tricky, as it is difficult to find an example with such a magnificent silvery sheen and well-preserved form.

Provenance: Ex-Gorny & Mosch, ex-private Y.C. collection, Germany, 1980.

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Minor surface wear commensurate with age showing minute losses to peripheries of cheek pieces, neck guard, and nasal guard. Incredible silvery sheen and green patina.

Buyer's Premium

  • 24.5%

Important Chalcidian Tinned Bronze Helmet, ex-Gorny

Estimate $60,000 - $80,000Mar 15, 2017
686 S. Taylor Avenue Suite 106
Louisville, CO 80027
United States
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