A Suite of Greek Bronze Armour

A Suite of Greek Bronze Armour
A Suite of Greek Bronze Armour

A Suite of Greek Bronze Armour

Period

Late 5th–4th century B.C.

Dimension

Cuirass: 50x35 cm high
Helmet: 33x22 cm high
Greave: 46 cm high

Provenance

English private collection, prior to 1972

Exhibition

Helmet: exhibited at the Glyptothek in Munich
Cuirass: exhibited at the Musée d’art et d’histoire, Geneva

This panoply comprises a matching ensemble of helmet, cuirass, and greave (shin guard), which are rare Etruscan works exemplifying the finest qualities of the form and decoration that characterize the greatest armors made in Etruria during the Classical period. In addition to exhibiting originality of design and exceptional workmanship, this ensemble occupies an important place in the historical development of Etruscan armor. It includes one of the finest Etruscan cuirasses known to survive and a helmet that has no parallels in the Ancient World. Very few Etruscan panoplies appear to have ever included anatomical cuirasses, and among the few specimen known to remain, many are extensively damaged or restored, unlike this example. The helmet, with its delicate embossed, chased, and engraved ornament, and its striking bronze and silver appliqués, is one of the most luxurious examples of a type found only in Etruria, and by far the best preserved representative of this exclusive group. It is most important, however, for its unparalleled construction with hinged cheekpieces that would have completely enclosed the wearer’s face, and for the subtle modeling of the corresponding plates to follow the contours of the nose, cheekbones, and jaw. No other helmet with comparable features is known to exist.