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Sold to a private collector at the Winter Antiques Show, January 2002
Greek Bronze Warrior’s Helmet
6th century B.C.
Height 11” (27.8 cm)
For a discussion of this type of helmet, see Bottini et al., Antike Helme (Mainz, 1988), pp. 42–64.
Courtesy of Safani Gallery, Inc.

This is a superb example of the Illyrian type of hammered bronze helmet, which is one of the earliest known Greek helmets. Illyrian helmets were used from the late eighth to the early fourth centuries B.C. Found mainly in Greece, they have also been discovered in sites along the Adriatic and in southern Italy and Sicily. They typically have a squared face opening, pointed cheek pieces, a slightly flaring neck guard, and ribs over the dome. The helmets may have been lined with felt or wool glued to the interior.

These helmets were worn by the early hoplite warriors in Greece, who also wore a cuirass and greeves. These infantrymen carried a sword and shield, the hoplon, which gave the hoplite his name. The helmets were prized possessions, often handed down from father to son, some even having been inscribed with the name of the owner.

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