South Italian-Chalcidian helmet with volutes over the temples

Greek, South Italian
Early Hellenistic Period
about late 4th century B.C.

Place of Manufacture: Italy, Campania, Lucania, or Apulia

Catalogue Raisonné

Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 076-077.


Height: 33.0 cm (13 in.); width: 23.5 cm (9 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Europe, The Ancient World



A Chalcidian helmet of South Italian type. The helmet has hinged cheek protectors. The top of the helmet has a central ridge and is set off from the concave neck protector. A three-sided area - a kind of pediment - is set off by ridges above the forehead; the upper ridges terminate in scrolls above the temples. The scrolls are now hidden by small wings. The pediment encloses a head of Medusa in relief. Another ridge runs along the lower edge of the front of the helmet. It has a slight downward point at the center, a kind of residual nose guard. A corkscrew-like vertical spiral of bronze terminating in a snake’s head is attached to each side of the top to hold plumes. The sinuous lower outline of the helmet is created by openings for ears, eyes and mouth.
Because of the type of cuirass sold with it (2003.815.2-3), the helmet probably belonged to the panoply of a cavalryman.


By 1975: Cologne art market; 1975: purchased by Joost Kuizenga of Enschede, The Netherlands from the Cologne art market; March 20, 1993: sold by Kuizenga to the Liebert collection, Krefeld, Germany; 2001: said to have been acquired by or consigned to Axel Guttmann from the Liebert collection and returned three months later; by June 2001: consigned by Liebert to Sotheby's, 1334 York Avenue, New York (auction 7676, June 12, 2001, lot 68); June 12, 2001: sold by Sotheby's to a private collector and repurchased not long thereafter by Sotheby's; by June 2002: with Sotheby's New York (auction June 13, 2002, lot 67); August, 2003: purchased from Sotheby's by Peter Aldrich; December 2003: fractional year-end gift of Widgie and Peter Aldrich to MFA

Credit Line

Partial gift of Widgie and Peter Aldrich