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Christies Late Roman helmet: 1 or 2?
#1
An interesting dilemma.

A few years ago, Christie’s auctioned a new Late Roman helmet of hitherto unknown type. This seeming crossover between style has since been known as the ‘Christies helmet’, a several pictures of it circulate on this forum.

However, Jyrki (who asked me to post this) noticed of late that the pictures seem to show different helmets.
There’s the original picture with the black background, which corresponds to several other pictures which are in my possession, but which I can’t show here because I promised (my source) not to do so.

And there are other, more recent images, with a white background (shown here), which I thought were of the same helmet.

Jyrki notified me that to him, this seemed not to be the case. He noticed that the eyebrow on the left side of the helmet is nowhere near the bulbous rim and the start of the central ridge in the Christies helmet. In this other helmet the eyebrow is touching the bulbous outer rim and very close to the starting point of the central ridge.
I think he’s right. The nasal sits a lot higher on the second helmet, so either it’s been restored differently, or it’s a different helmet.

He also thought the angle of the neck guard is different, but I can’t make that out conclusively.

Other differences are a broken hinge on the left cheekplate and a difference in the bottom of the nasal, which seems more sleek on the first helmet.

Check out the images everyone, and help us out: a restored original, a second helmet, original or even a copy?
[attachment=639]christies1.jpg[/attachment]
[attachment=640]christies-comparison1.JPG[/attachment]
[attachment=641]christies5.jpg[/attachment]
[attachment=642]christies6.jpg[/attachment]


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Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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#2
Thanks Robert Big Grin !

I am now more convinced that this is a different helmet alltogether. Just take a look at the tips of the nose guards, they are differently shaped; the other have straight edges and the other have more curved edges (in addition to earlier observations)...
Virilis / Jyrki Halme
PHILODOX
Moderator
[Image: fectio.png]
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#3
Yup, I'd say two different helmets, too. But now alarms are going off in my head--Two nearly identical helmets in identical degrees of remarkable preservation?? "Beep beep beep--fake fake fake..."

Hmmmmm......

Matthew
Matthew Amt (Quintus)
Legio XX, USA
<a class="postlink" href="http://www.larp.com/legioxx/">http://www.larp.com/legioxx/
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#4
Yes, Matthew, I had some alarm bells ringing too. I remember I supposed a couple of years ago that this Christie's helmet is a fake. The so called Budapest jewelled late roman helmet has a similarly shaped nose guard, which is hyphotethical (the original nose guard is missing). We have not one similarly shaped original nose guard left which looks like it. Maybe the makers (supposed it is a fake) have copied the nose piece of this Budapest helmet? Anyway if the helmets are fake, I must admit that they are of high quality in this respect...

Btw, check this out, some very detailed pics of the Budapest helmet:
http://www.kornbluthphoto.com/HungarianN...seum1.html
Just noticed in these detailed pics that there are two figurines in the bowl rim decorations, one standing, one sitting. Must have been a member of the pagan troops of Julian ;-) ...
Virilis / Jyrki Halme
PHILODOX
Moderator
[Image: fectio.png]
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#5
Most definately not the same helmet!

You don't have to be a Sherlock Holmes to notice the differences. The most obvious is this- the side view of both helmets shows that before the brow ridge one of the helmets has a definate curve in the ridge line, which is absent in the other helmet side view.
Adrian Coombs-Hoar
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#6
The black background image has no lateral 'bulbous' ridge on the left hand side at all. What it does have is an indistinct, fuzzy looking area which looks a bit like bad photoshopping. I wonder if that area of the helmet was missing when excavated and it's been 'restored' in the white background pictures, with the nasal being repositioned during the process.


[attachment=650]bbh2.JPG[/attachment]


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"Medicus" Matt Bunker

[size=150:1m4mc8o1]WURSTWASSER![/size]
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#7
I had the same reaction: identical - fake! What are the chances of such near-identical helmets.. But then, it's possible of course.

The helmets have more differences.

Quote:The black background image has no lateral 'bulbous' ridge on the left hand side at all. What it does have is an indistinct, fuzzy looking area which looks a bit like bad photoshopping.
No, it's correct: on the original helmet, there IS a 'bulbous rim', but it stops a few inches short of the crest. On the 'white' helmet, the rim continous all the way to the crest.

There's another point of difference I forgot to mention: the position of the cheek plate strap. On the 'black' one, the rivet sits a few inches from the rim, but on the 'white' one, it's positioned close to the rim.

I don't recall where these images cam from. Does anyone know?
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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#8
The image with the black background is also on the website of Mardinus
http://www.mardinus.home.pl/_en/oferta/h...php?id=206

Anyway, this definitely are two different pieces.
________________________________________
Jvrjenivs Peregrinvs Magnvs / FEBRVARIVS
A.K.A. Jurjen Draaisma
CORBVLO and Fectio
ALA I BATAVORUM
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#9
The helmet on the white background was exhibited and published in: "Attila und die Hunnen", Historisches Museum der Pfalz, Speyer (2007) catalogue pp. 250.
Since the 1980s it was in an US private collection and sold at Hermann Historica München, Auction 59 ( April 2010) Lot 67. In the Auction text they made a reference to the "near identical" helmet at Christie's (on the black background).
This was in a German private collection since the early 1970s and was sold at Christie's Auction 1584 (Dez. 9th 2005)Lot 339.

Greets
Andreas Gagelmann
Berlin, Germany
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#10
Thanks Andreas for the "hard" info! If it really was available from the seventies on, I would think the helmet is genuine. There were quite limited amount of info of late roman helmets back then, methinks...
Virilis / Jyrki Halme
PHILODOX
Moderator
[Image: fectio.png]
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#11
Not nessecarily a fake helmet, more just not a Roman helmet but a later Saxon variant.

M.VIB.M.
Bushido wa watashi no shuukyou de gozaru.

Katte Kabuto no O wo shimeyo!

H.J.Vrielink.
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#12
The nasal area and other parts look very much restored. The iron area is smooth when compared to the other parts of the corroded iron. The same goes for large parts of the cheek pieces. Me thinks it may be based on some fragments, and has been heavily restored in the image of the Christies helmet.

Or it is a fake, based on the same flawed original fake. Two helmets being so identical I find hard to believe, even down to the hinge shape, cheek piece hole, number of rivets etc.
Markus Aurelius Montanvs
What we do in life Echoes in Eternity

Roman Artifacts
[Image: websitepic.jpg]
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#13
actually to add to that, what are the odds that both helmets have the same piece of iron sticking out near the nasal area. Two "different" helmet having that? I don't think so. Either it is the same helmet, or a fake based on the same template.


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Markus Aurelius Montanvs
What we do in life Echoes in Eternity

Roman Artifacts
[Image: websitepic.jpg]
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#14
Quote:actually to add to that, what are the odds that both helmets have the same piece of iron sticking out near the nasal area. Two "different" helmet having that? I don't think so. Either it is the same helmet, or a fake based on the same template.
If Andreas' information is indeed correct, I'm more inclined to accept them as genuine. It's of course theoretically possible that they came from the same workshop, and perhaps were even discovered together. But like all artefact robberies, these helmets never turned up in scientific publications, which will leave us wondering forever what theor origins were.. Confusedad:
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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#15
Well my argument then would be that they are the same helmet. Such a small none functional detail like that piece of iron sticking out is highly unlikely to be duplicated on hand made items in my opinion. I just find that hard to believe. I guess unless we see some other pictures of the Christies one, or some of them side by side we'll never know Big Grin
Markus Aurelius Montanvs
What we do in life Echoes in Eternity

Roman Artifacts
[Image: websitepic.jpg]
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