Helmet of Corinthian type

Greek
Archaic Period
late 6th–early 5th century B.C.


Catalogue Raisonné

Greek, Etruscan, & Roman Bronzes (MFA), no. 582; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 126 (additional published references).

Dimensions

Overall: 18.4 x 24 x 21 cm (7 1/4 x 9 7/16 x 8 1/4 in.)

Accession Number

48.498.1

Medium or Technique

Bronze

Not On View

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Armor

Bronze helmet of Corinthian type (it covers the head and neck fully, has flexible cheek guards, and has two eye openings on either side of a long nose guard). It is characterized by the engraved decoration which consists of a palmette on the forehead separating two bulls with heads lowered on either side of the helmet. The eyes of the bulls have been drilled completely, perhaps indicating that they were executed in a missing material originally attached via the holes. A series of small holes follow the edges of the nose-piece, the eye-holes, and lower edge, with many bronze pins being preserved. These holes and pins were used to fasten a lining of leather, inside and out, and overlapping at the outer edges. The larger perforations at the lower corners of the cheek guards were used to attach a chin strap.

The plain bronze horn with two pieces for attachment, said to have been found with it, is not original, although it is ancient. This crest may have been added to the helmet in antiquity and is meant to represent a bull’s horn. Such helmets were worn, in the Archaic and Classical periods, by Greek and Italian heavy infantrymen.

Provenance

By date unknown: with Adolph Loewi, 1331 Miller Drive, Los Angeles 46, California (according to acquisition paperwork: said to be from a grave in the necropolis at Valenzano near Bari); purchased by MFA from Adolph Loewi, June 3, 1948, for $ 3,500.00

Credit Line

Helen and Alice Colburn Fund