Ancient Roman Helmet sells for $A3.7Million.

AN ancient Roman helmet found in a British field by a treasure hunter with a metal detector has sold for STG2.3 million ($A3.7 million), auctioneers Christie’s say.

The “exceptional” bronze cavalry parade helmet dates from the late first century or early second century, and features a well-preserved face mask, locks of curly hair and a griffin atop the cap.

It sold to an anonymous telephone buyer for more than eight times the estimated price after a bidding war between six prospective owners on Thursday.

“When the helmet was first brought to Christie’s and I saw it first hand, I could scarcely believe my eyes,” the head of antiquities at Christie’s in London, Georgiana Aitken, said.

“This is an exceptional object – an extraordinary and haunting face from the past – and it has captured the imagination and the enthusiasm of everyone who has come to Christie’s to admire it over the past few weeks.”

“In all, six bidders fought for the helmet – three by telephone, two in the room and one via the internet from California,” Aitken said.

Read the full story in the “Fraser Coast Chronicle” also source of photo.

How lucky can you get. I wonder how long this person has been treasure hunting in fields? Well it seems it finally paid off. I have always been interested in Ancient History, so if I had found something like this it certainly would be hard to part with. Would the money side win out in the end, or would I rather keep it? In a way this dilemma would be a nightmare.

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16 Responses to Ancient Roman Helmet sells for $A3.7Million.

  1. travelrat says:

    I can’t help thinking … what would my father’s old ‘tin hat’ be worth to a collector in 2000 years’ time? I think it’s still in the loft somewhere … (unlike my ‘Kevlar’; they threatened dire penalties if I didn’t return it!)

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi travelrat,
      Sounds like something you should surely hang on to you just never know.
      Yes these days they want you to return everything, I often wonder what they do with the returns, it would be interesting to know.

  2. travelrat says:

    The only things I HAD to hand back were my helmet, respirator and watch. (we used to joke that the RAF was the only organisation in the world where they take your watch off you when you retire)

    Blue and khaki uniforms are personal property, although you may turn them in if you wish. And, you’re asked if there’s anything you wish to keep from the rest of it.

    I think … shirts, etc. go in the duster bag; heavier items are either cleaned and either issued to recruits as a stop-gap till the tailor’s finished their own stuff, or sold on to the Army and Navy Stores or just go for recycling.

    Probably more than you wanted to know … 😀

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi travelrat,
      Taking your watch, now that’s going a bit far isn’t it. I would never have even thought about a watch, now you could understand if it was a Rolex but really…..
      I just discovered that there are a lot of people out there that collect military gear, so I assume a lot of this would come from the Military Surplus stores.

      • travelrat says:

        Watch was a Hamilton Chronograph … never found out how much it was worth, but was once told if I ever lost it. I’d better not plan on changing my car for a year or two.

        I know several collectors of militaria … but very few who actually served.

    • bingbing says:

      It’s probably just one of those things, Travelrat. The people who served perhaps don’t want nor need to be reminded of the stuff. But for those who didn’t serve, sure they can never truly understand, but at least for some (many?), they certainly do appreciate it and don’t want that service to be forgotten. Collecting and preserving memorabilia is one way of doing that.

      • magsx2 says:

        Hi travelrat,
        I’ve never heard of that type of watch before, must of been a very good and expensive watch, no wonder they wanted it back.
        I agree with bingbing on the collectors, very well said.

  3. bingbing says:

    I loved ancient history at school. Stuffed around no end in class but could never really get in that much trouble because I always aced the tests. Used to read and re-read the textbook pages, even chapters, ahead of schedule (better than doing math homework). Loved that book, and the tests were a doddle.

    Whatever happened to my brain? However, History Channel has some great shows about the Romans.

    Warfare and society back then, whilst of course not without its similarities, was certainly a different kettle of fish!

    Crikey. Imagine being a pollie and advocating a war campaign such as was done just 70 years ago nowadays!

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi bingbing,
      I understand completely what you are saying about Ancient History, I used to read what ever I could. My passion is Ancient Egypt, but of course read what I could on all of Ancient History, including the Roman Era.
      I really don’t think the pollies theses days could ever handle a war like the wars of old, they are having trouble handling the wars that are happening now.

  4. travelrat says:

    Mags, if you’re interested in Ancient Egypt, you really ought to read Wilbur Smith’s ‘River God’.

    One of my passions is attending military re-enactments, from Roman times up until the First World War, and I’m always impressed in the detail that goes into researching and making their kit.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi travelrat,
      I haven’t read that particular book by Wilbur Smith, will have to check it out.
      I find Ancient Egypt very fascinating, and is one of my favorite Countries to visit, so much to see so interesting.
      You should put up some pictures on your blog about the military re-enactments, it is a very interesting subject, and I assume would be heaps of fun as well.

      • travelrat says:

        Hi, Mags!

        There’s already some re-enactment stuff up there; try clicking on the categories ‘Army’ or ‘Roman’ next time you visit.

  5. magsx2 says:

    Hi travelrat,
    Went and had a look, really nice slide-show as well as the video, looks like a heap of fun.
    We have a similar “show” which is held at The Abbey Museum, the museum is at Bribie Island here in Queensland about an hours drive from Brisbane, I don’t think you went there on your trip to Australia, but you would of drove past the turn off on your way up the coast. Here is a link to the museum, just click onto the Abbey Medieval Festival, and there are a few photo’s in there you may like to see.
    http://www.abbeytournament.com/

    • travelrat says:

      Pity we missed that one; judging by the photos, they’re every bit as good as anything we can muster. We did go to see the Australian Outback Spectacular, which, among other things, re-enacts the exploits of the Australian Light Horse.

      Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take photographs or make video, but I do have a picture of Light Horse re-enactors at the Australia Day Parade in Adelaide in 2006.

      • magsx2 says:

        Hi travelrat,
        I have heard good things about the Australian Outback Spectacular, I haven’t seen it myself, but a few people I know have gone to watch it.
        Apparently from what I have heard, they don’t allow photo’s or video because this way you have to buy a DVD or some postcards, personally I think this is the wrong way to go.

      • travelrat says:

        I put a picture of the Light Horse re-enactors in Adelaide up on ‘Oic of the Week’ in my blog this week.

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