The helmet is Apulo-Corinthian in shape, a variation of the standard Corinthian type used in the Greek colonies in Apulia. On top, two rectangular attachments flank an M-shaped clamp, and these originally would have held horsehair crests, feathers, or metal animal horns. At the back, a neck guard takes the form of a narrow flange that projects from the body of the helmet. Low holes on either side of the helmet held a chinstrap, and a hole in the back may have been used to hang it for storage or display.

The helmet has two small eye-holes and a descending nose-guard, but there is no separation between the cheekplates for the mouth. It is unlikely to have had a practical purpose on the battlefield, but rather served a ceremonial function instead. The surface is elaborately decorated: incised lotus buds spring from the outer corners of the eyes, while hanging ringlets fall from a hairline and turn into a chain of lotus buds on the sides of the helmet. A seated sphinx wearing a diadem, with one foreleg raised, occupies each cheekpiece, and two reclining satyrs flank a kantharos on the back. The satyr on the left lies with his right knee drawn up. He supports himself on his left arm, clasping his right knee with his right so his upper torso rotates and he looks back at the kantharos. The satyr on the right of the kantharos lies on his back with his feet towards it. He lifts himself on his left elbow, resting his right wrist on his raised right knee.


  • Title: Helmet (Front)
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 400–375 B.C.
  • Location Created: South Italy
  • Physical Dimensions: 19.4 × 22.5 × 29.8 cm (7 5/8 × 8 7/8 × 11 3/4 in.)
  • Type: Helmet
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Bronze
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 92.AC.7.1
  • Culture: Greek (South Italian)
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California
  • Creator Display Name: Unknown
  • Classification: Armor (Protective Wear)

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