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A GREEK BRONZE ILLYRIAN HELMET
A GREEK BRONZE ILLYRIAN HELMET
A GREEK BRONZE ILLYRIAN HELMET
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A GREEK BRONZE ILLYRIAN HELMET
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THE PROPERTY OF A CALIFORNIA PRIVATE COLLECTOR
A GREEK BRONZE ILLYRIAN HELMET

LATE ARCHAIC PERIOD TO EARLY CLASSICAL PERIOD, CIRCA 500-420 B.C.

Details
A GREEK BRONZE ILLYRIAN HELMET
LATE ARCHAIC PERIOD TO EARLY CLASSICAL PERIOD, CIRCA 500-420 B.C.
10 in. (25.5 cm.) high
Provenance
Private Collection, Europe.
The Property of a European Private Collector; Antiquities, Sotheby's, London, 11 July 1988, lot 136.
Axel Guttmann (1944-2001), Berlin (Inv. no. H49, AG244).
The Art of Warfare: The Axel Guttmann Collection, Part 1, Christie's, London, 6 November 2002, lot 52.
Literature
H. Prickler, ed., Die Ritter: Burgenländische Landesausstellung 1990, Eisenstadt, 1990, pp. 135, 201-202, no. 6, pl. XLIV (AG 244).
R. Hixenbaugh, Ancient Greek Helmets: A Complete Guide and Catalog, New York, 2019, p. 319, no. I305.
Exhibited
Burg Güssing, Burgenland, Austria, Die Ritter: Burgenländische Landesausstellung 1990, 4 May-28 October 1990.

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Lot Essay


The Illyrian helmet is one of two helmets introduced in the early 7th century B.C. Its sleek form was an early new designs developed from the Kegel prototype, which had a cone-shaped dome, dating to the 8th century B.C. Stylistically unique, the type is characterized by a square face-guard and pointed non-hinged cheek pieces, and a smooth dome featuring raised parallel ridges running front to back along the top, to which a wood, leather and horse-hair crest would be pinned in place by the circular rivet at the crown (see pp. 131-133, Hixenbaugh, op cit.).

This finely-crafted example fits into a group of nearly-identical helmets described as "the Classical zenith of the Illyrian form" (p. 134 in Hixenbaugh, op. cit.). Of the roughly 150 surviving examples, they share the same design, proportions and craftsmanship, including ornamental pseudo-rivets along the edges, a stylized peak at the join of the cheek and sharply flaring neck-guards, and incised lines along the raised crest area. Crafted from a single metal sheet and of slightly thicker gauge, providing heightened protection in addition to an elegant form. They were made in a Greek workshop, likely Corinth or Athens, and were distributed widely, with examples found in Olympia, Athens, Macedonia and the Crimea. For the type, see nos. I300-I457 in Hixenbaugh, op. cit.

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