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The Art of Warfare
The Axel Guttmann Collection, Part I
Since the Renaissance there has been an unbroken tradition of collecting ancient arms and armour which were appreciated for their technical craftsmanship and iconography. However, it was not until Axel Guttmann formed his collection that ancient arms and armour came to be valued for their beauty and artistic richness, as well as for their historical and typological interest.
Axel Guttmann (1944-2001) was born in Krems, Austria, but grew up in Berlin after the Second World War. He became a passionate collector of fine wine, furniture, paintings, Meissen porcelain and Medieval arms and armour. Later, pursuing his personal interest in Greek and Roman military history, he extended his collecting to ancient armour and weaponry, forming the largest and most comprehensive collection from early Europe, the Mediterranean world and the Near East, dating from the 3rd millennium B.C. to the late Roman period.
Axel Guttmann's inspiration was the German financier and art collector, Franz von Lipperheide (1838-1906), who had donated his collection of 92 classical helmets to the Royal museums in Berlin. In a similar way, Axel Guttmann was a patron of these museums for over 25 years, supporting projects, publications and purchases, as well as loaning items from his collection to exhibitions in both Germany and Austria. Axel Guttmann will be particularly remembered for the museum-like display of his collection in his Berlin home to which scholars and other collectors had generous access. His collection was conserved and studied in an academic and scientific manner and it is to his lasting credit that eight volumes entitled Sammlung Axel Guttmann were published by Philipp von Zabern, Mainz, before his untimely death on 28 October 2001:
H. Born and L. D. Nebelsick, Ein bronzener Prunkhelm der Hallstattzeit, 1991; H. Born, Restaurierung antiker Bronzewaffen, 1993; H. Born and S. Hansen, Frühgriechische Bronzehelme, 1994; H. Born and U. Seidl, Schutzwaffen aus Assyrien und Urartu, 1995; H. Born and M. Junkelmann, Römische Kampf- und Turnierrüstungen, 1997; M. Kunze-Köllensperger, Alexanders Tiere, 1999; M. Junkelmann, Römische Helme, 2000; H. Born and S. Hansen, Helme und Waffen Alteuropas, 2001.
PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF THE LATE AXEL GUTTMANN