Christie’s reports on the astonishing sale of its Roman British helmet. Discovered in Cumbria, there was a local campaign to keep the helmet in the area to be used as a tourist attraction. The £2.28m purchase price shows the demand for the object. Here’s Christie’s release:
The Crosby Garrett Helmet sold today at the auction of Antiquities at Christie’s South Kensington for £2,281,250 / $3,629,469 / €2,593,781 (estimate: £200,000 to £300,000). An exceptional survival from Roman Britain, the helmet was discovered by a metal detectorist in Cumbria in May 2010 and dates from the late 1st-2nd Century A.D.
In all 6 bidders fought for the helmet; 3 by telephone, 2 in the room and one via the internet from California. It was sold for £2.3 million to an anonymous client bidding by phone.
With its enigmatic features, the Crosby-Garrett Helmet is an extraordinary example of Roman metalwork at its zenith. It is one of only three Roman Cavalry Parade helmets that have been discovered in Britain complete with face-masks, the others being the Ribchester Helmet, found in 1796 and now in the British Museum, and the Newstead Helmet, in the Museum of Antiquities, Edinburgh, found circa 1905.