Top 10: Ancient Military Artefacts
Notable mention: Praetorian military diploma - €27,000 ($32,688)
A Praetorian military diploma dated January 212, from the reign of Caracalla. Two inscribed rectangular tablets. Sold for €27,000 at Hermann Historica in October 2010.
10) Ceremonial Sword - $36,000
An Eastern European ceremonial sword with golden grip, circa 375-450 AD, sold for €30,000 (around $36,000) at Hermann Historica in October 2006.
9) Roman cavalry helmet mask - €36,000 ($43,584)
A Roman Kalkriese type iron mask from a cavalry helmet, probably of Weiler/Koblenz Bubenheim type, 1st century AD, sold for €36,000 at Hermann Historica in October 2010.
8) Hawaiian Island Crested Helme - $56,762
A rare crested helme originating in the Hawaiian islands sold for $56,762 at Sotheby’s in May 2002.
7) Villanovian shield - £41,825 ($74,741)
Villanovan embossed bronze ceremonial round shield, second half of 8th century B.C., sold for £41,825 at Christie’s in April 2004.
6) Roman iron helmet - €62,000 ($75,062)
A circa 4th/5th century AD Roman iron helmet, sold for €62,000 at Hermann Historica in April 2010.
5) Roman Orichalcum Imperial helmet - £45,410 ($81,148)
An inscribed Roman Orchalcum Imperial Gallic Type I Helmet, second half of 1st century AD, sold for £45,410 at Christie’s in April 2004.
4) Gladius sword - £54,970 ($98,231)
A Pompeii-type Gladius short sword, along with a tinned bronze scabbard and iron spear head, sold for £54,970 at Christie’s in April 2004.
3) A Greco-Italic armour, - €90,000 ($108,961)
A full suit of armour, 4th/3rd century B.C. including a Pilos type bronze helmet, a muscled cuirass, a pair of long greaves, a bronze belt, and two bronze chamfrons. Sold for €90,000 at a Hermann Historica auction in October 2010. Another set of 5th/4th century B.C. Greek armour with a Chalcidian helmet, bronze cuirass, and bronze long greaves sold for €54,000 at a Hermann Historica auction in October 2009.
2) Greek Bronze Helmets – up to $508,800
Greek bronze helmets are incredibly valuable and collected items of ancient militaria. Generally dating from the 8th-4th century B.C., these can include helmets of the Chalcidian type, the Phrygian type, the Illyrian type, the Picenian type, the Kegal type, and the Corinthian type. Notable examples include:
- Greek Bronze Helmet, Crete Orientalising period, circa mid 7th Century B.C. sold for $508,800 at Sotheby’s in December 2005
- 4th century B.C. Phrygian-Chalcidian type winged bronze helmet sold for £156,450 ($279,576) at Christie’s in April 2004.
- Corinthian Bronze Helmet circa early 5th century B.C. sold for $207,000 at Sotheby’s in June 2007.
- Greek Bronze Helmet circa early 5th century B.C. sold for $174,500 at Sotheby’s in December 2002.
- Corinthian type bronze helmet 6th-5th century B.C. sold for £59,750 ($106,773) at Christie’s in April 2004.
- Greek Bronze helmet of Corinthian type, sold for $98,500 at Sotheby’s in June 2012.
- Kegal type bronze helmet circa 8th century B.C. sold for £45,410 ($81,148) at Christie’s in April 2004.
1) The Crosby Garrett Helmet - £2.3 million ($3.6 million)
The Crosby Garrett is a bronze cavalry parade helmet dating from the Roman Empire, circa 1st-2nd century AD. It was found in Cumbria, UK, and sold at Christie’s for £2,281,250 in October 2010. It includes a full face mask and griffin crest on the peak.