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Northwestern Greece, ca. late 6th to 5th centuries BCE. A war helmet made of hammered bronze sheet, with a rectilinear opening for the face, long, pointed cheek pieces, and twin parallel ridges on the crown frame the crest. The back and sides flare out slightly to guard the neck and have pseudo-rivets incised around them. Wearable, but made for a small head! Comes with custom stand. Size: 9.3" L x 7.25" W x 9.5" H (23.6 cm x 18.4 cm x 24.1 cm); height on stand: 14.4" (36.6 cm).
These helmets were particularly popular in northern Greece, in the province of Illyria, in the modern day Balkans. They were made for hoplites, the citizen-soldiers of the Greek city states, who often furnished their own bronze armor. As a result, regional styles developed and there is a great deal of variation in shape and form.
Armor was not just for battle, however. The pseudo-rivets on this example show that this was made for parades or to be worn in death - on a battle helmet, those rivets would have been real, to attach to a leather guard. Excavations at Sindos in Macedonia, a necropolis with the remains of Greek soldiers, have found that there was a standardized and probably ritualized method for burial. This included the placement of armor in carefully proscribed areas of the body. The helmet was placed over the head, along with a strip of gold over the mouth and possibly others over the eyes. See similar examples to this helmet from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1992.180.1, 2006.221, 2003.407.6) and the Louvre (CA 2221Or).
Condition: Invisible repairs to top, side, and to one lower part of cheek piece. Excellent bronze patina overall.
Provenance: Ex- Private S. Dakota collection acquired at German auction house in the early 2000's
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