Helmet of Apulian-Corinthian type
Greek, South Italian
Late Archaic or Classical Period
late 6th–early 5th century B.C.
Greek, Etruscan, & Roman Bronzes (MFA), no. 589B; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 126 (additional published references).
Height: 28.5 cm (11 1/4 in.)
Medium or Technique
This Apulian-Corinthian helmet is a South Italian adaptation of the traditional Corinthian helmet. Instead of covering the entire head, this helmet is meant to fit atop the head like a cap and did not cover the face at all. The front of the helmet rested diagonally over the forehead, and the flared nape guard was nearly parallel to the neck. It retains what appear to be eye openings and a nose guard as mere decorative elements, however. The cheek pieces are connected in two places and the nose guard rests directly on top of them. The apertures for the eyes are far smaller than functional openings in earlier helmets. Above these are embossed eyebrows, and the forehead is crowned by a raised brow ridge. The hole just above the rim on each side of the helmet allowed the attachment of a chin strap.
Apulian vase painting depicts the lost embellishments which the surviving bronze supports once held. The central two-pronged strut, formed from two conjoined and twisted bronze strips, supported a bristled horse-hair crest, and the two smaller rods to either side facilitated the attachement of large feathers
Brown patina with some green, corroded areas.
July 1, 1969, anonymous sale (probably an English consignor), Sotheby's, London, lot 72, to Landon T. Clay, Boston; 1969, gift of Landon T. Clay to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 23, 1969)
Gift of Landon T. Clay