Illyrian bronze helmet featured in large military artifact auction

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MUNICH, Germany – Approximately 6,800 lots from all areas of historic antiquities and militaria – antiquities, arms and armor, arts and crafts, hunting collectibles, orders as well as collectibles from history and military history – will be offered for bidding at Hermann Historica’s spring auction April 23-May 4.

ancient military antiquesIllyrian bronze helmet with bright green patina from the 6th century.

Rare and exceptional objects, thematically diversified and of high quality, are put up for auction in the antiquities catalog. Examples include a set of silver phalerae from a bridle that can be traced to the northern Black Sea region and dates from the 4th/3rd century BC. The decorative ornamental discs with elaborate relief are made from sheet silver and give striking proof of the artistry of early Thracian-Skythian craftsmanship with precious metal. A female deity, lions and gryphons are depicted on the plates deriving from a Munich private collection. The piece carries a low estimate is nearly $20,000.

A gold ring of a Roman officer from the 2nd/3rd century AD carries an estimate of about $10,500. The ring features a tapered shank with a rectangular panel that is decorated with the nielloed inscription “LEG V MAC” – a fact that designates the bearer as an officer of the Legio V Macedonica, founded by Octavian and located in Moesia.

This auction will also offer a fine assortment of early helmets, including  an Illyrian bronze helmet from the 6th century with bright green patina and large face opening estimated at nearly $15,900 on the low end.

militaria horse bridleA set of silver phalerae from a magnificent bridle that can be subscribed to the northern Black Sea region and dates from the 4th/3rd century BC.

An expressive marble head of Silenus, also from the Roman Empire of the 2nd/3rd century, is offered for bidding. The oldest of the satyrs and son of the god Pan is depicted with a vine leaves’ wreath on his head, strong features and a curly beard. It can be won for at least $11,900.

An interesting object concerning cultural history and of museum quality is offered with lot 1449: a Balkan flask with reliefs on the body that can be dated circa 1500. Made from a leaded tin alloy, the flat flask features a depiction of Saint George as well as rich tendril decorations with stylised dragons’ heads on the handles. Apart from those Christian motifs, the influence of the Ottoman cultural region can be seen in the design. Comparable pieces are usually only seen in museums; the rare piece carries a low presale estimate of nearly $20,000.

The edged weapons offered for bidding range in the time of their origin from the High Middle Ages to the 18th century. An unusually long (44.69 inches) and striking medieval sword from the 12th century impresses by high-quality decorations and two-line inscriptions in gold and silver. It will be introduced at nearly $6,000.

military auctionA Cieszyn wheellock rifle from 1650 decorated with lavish mother-of-pearl and bone inlays, circa 1650.
Chinese porcelain shoulder vase brightly paintedA shouldered vase from China, however, stands out due to the exclusive colourfulness of the painted courtly scenes. Crafted circa 1700.

Of a more recent date, but just as interesting are two edged weapons from the 18th century. A chiselled and gilt French small-sword from circa 1760 convinces by its sophisticated workmanship as well as by its beautiful condition (estimate $4,764). A silver-mounted hunting hanger from the possessions of a Count of Erbach will be offered for bidding. Finely decorated with tendril ornaments, motto, coat of arms and princely hat, this South German weapon from 1730 will be introduced at $4,632).

The Orient and Asia category includes quality lots from the Ottoman Empire and India as well as from Japan and China. A shouldered vase from China stands out due to the exclusive colorfulness of the painted courtly scenes. Crafted circa 1700 during the late Ming Dynasty or the early Qing Dynasty, this vase in heavy Wucai export ware was supplemented with a gilt bronze mounting during the 19th century, and is now estimated at approximately $6,600.

The chapter of militaria contains the most exceptional items. The demand for memorabilia from the Bavarian royal house has remained unwavering, and the presentation brooch of King Ludwig II of Bavaria (1845-1886) can be seen as an outright sensation which now will be offered for sale. The blue medallion features a golden mirror monogram and is set with approximately 60 diamond roses. Considering the period, it was an extremely expensive present that was only given to the king’s closest personal confidants. This exclusive piece will be offered for bidding at $13,225.

A 23 percent buyer’s premium will be added to all lots won. For more details, visit Hermann Historica.

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