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Superb Greek Illyrian Helmet with Heavy Crest Box and Gold Gilt


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Ancient World: Greek: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1354113
Apolonia Ancient Art
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Denver, CO. 80206
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This superb piece is a Greek Illyrian type helmet that dates circa mid 6th-5th century B.C. This piece is approximately 12 inches high, from the tip of the cheek pieces to the top of the crest box, and is a full size helmet. This piece has been classified in "Antike Helm", Lipperheide and Antikenmuseums Collections, Mainz, Germany, 1988, pp. 59-64, as being "Type III, A". This superb example has attractive elongated cheek pieces, a detailed minute punched decorative dot band that runs around the outer perimeter edge, and a distinctive heavy raised crest box. The punched decorative dot band, seen running around the outer perimeter edge of this helmet, also has added gold gilt that is a rare, and not often seen, decorative feature. This decorative gold gilt perimeter band is also known to cover the "heavy-rivet, Type II" Illyrian types, and this is an extremely rare feature for this type as well. There is also a "V-type" design seen at the junction where the cheek pieces meet the main body of the helmet, and all of the features noted above are inherent to the "Type III, A" classification. The heavy crest box seen on this helmet is seen primarily on this helmet type, and is a further invention in ancient Greek armor, as this protected the warrior with extra protection from over head striking blows. This beautiful piece also has some minute nicks and scrapes from weapon blows that indicate that this helmet has been in battle. The condition of this piece is extremely fine to superb, with some closed crack lines which is normal for a helmet of this type, and has thin added reinforcement on the upper inside inner crown that was done circa 1980's. This piece is also approximately 90-95% original, and was repaired from several large fragments in the crown area, with the balance of this beautiful example being intact. The patina is also exceptional, as there are dark and light green colors with beautiful dark brown and red highlights, along with some spotty dark green and blue mineralization. This piece was also constructed from one sheet of bronze and was hammered into shape, and the construction of the heavy crest box was highly specialized, and took a great deal of skill to produce. This helmet also falls within the last group of Illyrian helmets to be produced, and this also explains the additional features that are seen on this rare to scarce piece, and these features are not seen on the earlier and more common "Type II" examples. This piece also has an attractive and compact design, and is one of the best examples for the type. An analogous comparable was sold by Christie's Antiquities, "The Art of Warfare: The Axel Guttmann Collection, Part I", London, Nov. 2002, no. 52. ($19,000.00-$28,000.00 estimates, $19,000.00 realized.) The later and more scarce "Type III" examples, as the piece offered here, are now also selling for a premium over the more numerous "Type II" examples, as the "Type III" examples were produced with a higher degree of workmanship and skill, and this is now becoming more well known in the market. This piece has a great deal of eye appeal, not only because it is a "Type III" type, but it also has a rare gold gilt decorative dot band. This piece also comes with a custom metal stand. Ex: Lord McAlpine of West Green collection, circa 1970's. Ex: Private U.K. collection, circa 1980's. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition: