Provenience: Swiss private collection, acquired before 1996.
London, private collection until 1917
This type of bronze helmet appears from VI century b.C. in Southern Italy as a derivation and adaptation of the Corinthian hard hat type; unlike that Corinthian one, this helmet has a wider visage and the nose protection tend to disappear, but, most of all, the way of wearing is totally different: the Italic-Corinthian helmet is donned on top of the head, leaving the face exposed, kept in place by leather laces knot under the chin, and maybe by additional cheekpieces. Often this kind of helmet is decorated to an Etruscan with ornamental engravings (and the eyes’ holes too were only decorative), central plume holder and lateral feathers holders, (usually in purple or black colors, according to Polybius). Some examples have a nape protection.
This kind of helmet has been depicted in several mythologic representations (Mars, Minerva) also after the end of its militar use (III century b.C.). This particular helmet has two running boards carved in the front. On the top o the cap we recognize the plume holder support. In the back the hint of the nape protection is very well shaped. It is in perfect condition, with traces of gilding still visible between the boar paws.
1) Italic-Corinthian helmet on the magnificent “Sarcophagus of Amazons”, about 350-325 b.C., ordered by an Etruscan customer and decorated by a Magna grecian or italic painter.
2) Drachma from Syracuse
3) Italic-Corinthyan helmet, Los Angeles, Getty Museum