Ancient Greece, Hellenistic Period, ca. 5th to 4th century BCE. A beautiful bronze cheek piece from a Chalcidian helmet, depicting Nike, the winged goddess of victory, speed, and strength, in repousse. She is quite attractive with delicate facial features, a lovely twisted and pulled back coiffure, and a voluminous flowing chiton draped over her left shoulder and cascading behind her legs. The goddess stands or perhaps softly alights to a contrapposto position, her body displaying a classic weight shift, and holds a long ribbon in her hands. Two perforations and short tabs at upper end for attaching. Size: 4.625" H (11.7 cm); 6" H (15.2 cm) on included custom stand.
The Chalcidian helmet was created in order to improve upon the Corinthian helmet, as its design allowed for better vision and hearing. In addition, it was much lighter and less cumbersome than other Greek helmets, and distinguished by curved cheek pieces. Chalcidian helmets continued to be worn by warriors through the era of Alexander the Great; spear wielding Hoplites in particular favored Chalcidian helmets. Indeed the Chalcidian helmet became the iconic helmet of classical warriors.
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection; ex-collection of Dr. Heinrich Medicus, Troy, New York, USA; ex-Sotheby's, New York, (December 8, 2000, lot 67)
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