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Lot 0518
3rd century AD. A bronze parade helmet comprising a bowl of plaited bronze strips with hollow tapering bronze crest, frontal panel with repoussé wreath detailing and triangular plate to the rear; a matched pair of bronze hinged cuff vambraces of similar plaited-strip construction. Cf. Travis, H. & J. Roman Helmets, Stroud, 2014, fig.101 for type. 3.2 kg total, helmet: 32cm, bracelets 12cm (12 1/2"). Property of a central London collector; imported from Switzerland in 2009, previously acquired from Mr George Kotolakis in Geneva in the mid-1980s. Accompanied by a report of metallurgic analytical report number 122668/575, written by Metallurgist Dr. Brian Gilmour of the Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, University of Oxford. The use of bronze parade helmets by the Roman military is documented, although the type with a silvered face-mask (cavalry sports helmets) is best known. The plaited or openwork construction is paralleled on the later iron type found in Vendel Period (6th-7th century AD) Sweden (e.g. Valsgärde graves 5, 6) which in turn have Roman and Sassanian antecedents. Vambraces of splinted type also feature in the contemporary armaments of the Vendel Period graves. [A video of this item is available to view on TimeLine Auctions website.]


Fine condition. Very rare.

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Roman Parade Helmet with Wrist Guards

Estimate £15,000 - £20,000
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