Greece, Classical Period, ca. 5th to 4th century BCE. A striking Chalcidian helmet comprised of hammered bronze, so named as this helmet form was initially depicted on pottery believed to derive from the Euboean city of Chalcis. This form of helmet is distinguished by its curved cheekpieces, attached here by thin bronze pins that form a hinge. A teardrop-shaped nose guard extends down from raised curves demarcating the eyes. The forehead has a sweeping central ridge and an overhanging brow line. Curves on the sides allow the ears to be left open, improving battlefield communication. Uniquely, this example has incised square motifs on the exterior of its earflaps - these look like a personal touch, perhaps made by the helmet's original owner as an identification mark. Size: 9" W x 12.5" H (22.9 cm x 31.8 cm); 16.5" H (41.9 cm) on included custom stand.
During this time period, Greece was divided into city states who warred with one another and foreign powers like Persia. Alongside the remarkable artistic and philosophical achievements that we remember today, innovations in weaponry and armor changed the nature of war. The Chalcidian helmet was an improvement over the earlier Corinthian style, allowing improved hearing and vision. Production of bronze items like this helmet and shields led to the creation of the phalanx, a wave of intimidating shielded warriors marching side by side. Each helmet of this style was made to fit its wearer's head. The interior would have been lined with leather to serve as a cushion against blows (and against the uncomfortable metal rubbing on top of someone's head!). The owner would have hung the helmet in his home and would have been buried with it after his death. When worn, it probably had some kind of adornment like a feather comb. This style was still being worn by some soldiers, notably Hoplites, during the time of Alexander the Great.
See a nearly identical example in the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, USA: https://art.thewalters.org/detail/22640/chalcidian-type-helmet/
Provenance: ex-private Los Angeles, California, USA collection, acquired at auction
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The helmet has been restored but much of the material is original, especially on the front and flaps. Some small losses to the peripheries have not been restored. Xrays are available upon request. Form is clear and the piece has a nice, mottled green patina and light deposits.