Military Review

The most expensive helmets. Helmet Crosby Garrett. Part one

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Archaeologists always hope to find ... a treasure. Well, or not a treasure, but something very valuable, even if not necessarily golden. And they are really lucky. In Egypt, they found a golden coffin and the mask of Pharaoh Tutankhamun from gold of a high weight 10,5 kg, and everyone seems to know this. But the fact that several masks similar to “tutankhamenova” have been found, they know, alas, mostly specialists. Not everyone knows about the silver coffin of Pharaoh Psusennes I and his mask, although it is no less an excellent example of ancient Egyptian art. However, the discovery was made in 1939, when war was raging all over Europe and people just had no time for archeology. They find pots with coppers and arrowheads, find silver hryvnias (one such settlement found at Zolotarevsky, we had to hold in our hands ... a strange feeling), and a lot of other things - tons, tens and hundreds of tons of very different metal and stones. So, when someone begins to assert (drunk or foolish, I really do not know) that all this is buried in the ground specifically to ... distort history, This is ridiculous. It is not worth this hard work for the manufacture of all these products of the meager results that we end up with. And it is much easier to enrich descendants if you put money in a reliable bank.


The most expensive helmets. Helmet Crosby Garrett. Part one

"Helmet Crosby-Garrett" - appearance.

Although, yes, it also happens that people find unique items just where no one expects to find them. However, not quite. We have never found a Roman helmet near Nizhny Novgorod, but quite a lot of them have already been found in England, and why this is so hardly needed to be explained. And today we will tell just about the finds of the most expensive ... helmets. And almost all of them are made in England, although unique and expensive (from a financial point of view, as well as from a historical one!) Helmets were found in other places. Well, one should begin, of course, with the discovery of the most expensive helmet in history, called “Crosby-Garret helmet”.

This is an ancient Roman helmet, made of copper alloy and belonging to the time of manufacture of approximately I - III century of our era. This helmet was found in May 2010 by a local resident with a metal detector in Crosby-Garret in Cumbria, England. Apparently, this is not a combat helmet. Most likely, it was intended either for some ceremonies, or for participants of the paramilitary equestrian games "hippika gymnasium." This is supported by the fact that such helmets have already been found here and this one is the third one.

But the most important thing is still not the case, but the fact that 7 of October 2010 of the year “Crosby-Garrett helmet” was sold at Christie’s auction for a fantastic amount of 2,3 million pounds sterling (3,6 million dollars) to a certain anonymous buyer by… phone. And, by the way, who this man is still unknown!

And it was so that many residents of England at the first opportunity buy their own metal detector and bypass with it their own possessions, as well as public fields and forests in search of antiquities. And since on the land of ancient Britain whom and what did not exist, quite often they are accompanied by luck. So it was this time: the helmet was discovered by a private search engine, who also wished to remain anonymous, with the help of a metal detector on the farm pasture territory, owned by a certain Eric Robinson, in the Crosby-Garret area. The fact that in these places were located some ancient Roman settlements or camps, nothing was known. But then an ancient Roman road passed through these places, which led to the northern border of Roman Britain. This road had an important, one might say, of strategic importance, and if so, then it was possible to assume both a significant military presence and the movement of military forces in these places in the distant past. That is, the Roman legions marched north to it and galloped cavalry, including Sarmatian cataphracts, and here they could easily make their own camps.

The find was not a whole helmet, but 33 large and 34 small fragments, and most likely, it was wrapped in cloth and placed face down. Since there were no Roman settlements, as they say, it can be assumed that the helmet was buried in the ground at the moment of danger that threatened its owner. But, nevertheless, he still had time to bury him! However, it is quite possible that now thorough archaeological research will be conducted here. However, when will it be? This is only still being said.

As already mentioned, from a long stay in the ground, the helmet collapsed heavily, with the result that it was a set of different fragments from 67. But the auction house Christie hired restorers, who restored it in its previous form. It is believed that since the restoration was carried out before the helmet was provided to the British Museum for scientific expertise, it is possible that important information regarding the origin of this helmet was lost. On the other hand, the examination confirmed the main thing, namely, that this is not a fake. Interestingly, some fragments of the helmet bear the traces of white metal, which suggests that the entire helmet was completely covered with white metal "under the silver."


"Helmet Crosby-Garrett." Photo taken at auction.

After the restoration, a typical cavalry helmet of the Roman cavalier was used, which were used during the hippika gymnasium games. The appearance of a helmet with a mask was the head of a young man with curly hair and in a Phrygian cap. At the pointed top of the helmet was a winged sphinx, which was quite unusual for this kind of helmets. It is possible that the mask and helmet depict the god Mithra, whose cult was popular among Roman legionnaires in the 1st-4th centuries. n er

It was clear that the find in Crosby-Garret is very valuable from a historical point of view, and if so, it also has a certain monetary value. But can it be considered a treasure, that is the question? The fact is that according to English law, and it is considered to be one of the most developed in the world on this issue, this discovery was not legally recognized as a treasure, as bronze items are considered as such only if they are found in the whole, and not in damaged form. But the objects of gold or silver are considered a treasure, regardless of any historical value.

If the helmet were officially recognized as a treasure, then a long bureaucratic procedure for its examination would begin, and the state museums of England would receive the priority right to buy a helmet from an amateur archaeologist, due to which the amount they would pay to the helmet finder and landowner. he was found, could not be so great. But since museums did not receive such rights, the helmet was sold at 7 on October 2010 for 2 281 250 pounds sterling ($ 3 631 750), including an auction commission, and an anonymous buyer who placed bids on the phone. The amount of sale of the helmet significantly exceeded the preliminary estimates of its sale: most experts believed that the amount of 200 - 300 thousand pounds would be quite sufficient, and the assumption that the helmet would be bought for 500 thousand pounds was considered too bold.


Helmet indoors during bidding on Christie's auction.

The Tully Museum of Carlisle suggested starting a fundraiser in order to buy a helmet for them and place it in his exposition, that is, leave it in the county where it was found. One of the patrons said he was even willing to donate one pound for each collected public pound. Thus, it was possible to collect more than 50 000 pounds, plus 50 000 came from an anonymous patron, that is, more than 100 thousand pounds - a huge amount in total, to which was also added a special grant of 1 million pounds from the National Heritage Fund . But ... even such means were not enough and the helmet went into private hands. The museum offered the buyer to place a helmet in the museum at least for a while, but these negotiations did not bring any success.

All these events provoked a lively discussion in England about the treasure law and the assessment of its conformity with possible situations. By law, it turns out that five silver coins of the XVI century, which cost only 50 pounds, are subject to the law on treasures, and although museums do not need these coins, they nevertheless have a priority right to buy them. But the value like "Crosby-Garrett helmet" they can not buy due to lack of funds. In addition, the staff of the Tully Museum, as well as a number of officials called on the government to ban the export of a helmet from England.

In general, it’s great that there are still places on earth where such finds are possible at all, but what’s important is that in the country where they take place there would be laws worked out in this area!

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  1. Vard
    Vard 25 March 2018 06: 22
    +3
    If someone dealt with copper, it can be said with confidence that it is very difficult to break a copper thing into pieces, it’s practically impossible ... the metal is very plastic ... So those who consider the helmet to be fakes are quite right ... British archaeologists and not only ... rich experience of fraud ...
    1. Cat
      Cat 25 March 2018 06: 55
      +4
      In fact, if the helmet is genuine, then its price is difficult to determine in pounds, dollars and rubles, it is simply priceless. And not only for England, but for all of humanity!
    2. Olgovich
      Olgovich 25 March 2018 07: 05
      +3
      Quote: Vard
      If someone dealt with copper, it can be said with confidence that it is very difficult to break a copper thing into pieces, it’s practically impossible ... the metal is very plastic ... So those who consider the helmet to be fakes are quite right ... British archaeologists and not only ... rich experience of fraud ...

      Thought about it too ...
      The only explanation is that it was an alloy, IMHO.
      The price, of course, is amazing ....
    3. KVU-NSVD
      KVU-NSVD 25 March 2018 07: 23
      +4
      Quote: Vard
      If someone dealt with copper, it can be said with confidence that it is very difficult to break a copper thing into pieces, it’s practically impossible ... the metal is very plastic ... So those who consider the helmet to be fakes are quite right ... British archaeologists and not only ... rich experience of fraud ...

      Was the helmet generally found in BROKEN form? After all, the auctioneers ordered the restoration, and they who found it, who immediately explained everything about the laws, are interested in selling the artifact more expensive and faster .. In this light, both the anonymous buyer and the current inaccessibility to research look suspicious ...
      1. kalibr
        25 March 2018 10: 25
        +2
        Quote: KVU-NSVD
        Was the helmet generally found in BROKEN form?

        Funny question. Photographing of an artifact is always carried out, all details are numbered, sizes are indicated, hypothetical mating.
    4. XXXIII
      XXXIII 25 March 2018 08: 02
      +1
      Quote: Vard
      If someone dealt with copper, it can be said with confidence that it is very difficult to break a copper thing into pieces, it’s practically impossible ... the metal is very plastic ... So those who consider the helmet to be fakes are quite right ... British archaeologists and not only ... rich experience of fraud ...
      I don’t think that copper could have survived so well, even if the helmet was restored, then probably 90% of the helmet was not (trash) laughing.... Gold would have been preserved, but would also have been badly damaged. British scientists love corrosion very, from it so many discoveries are obtained, the rarest ...... lol hi
      made of copper alloy to I - III century AD
      1. NN52
        NN52 25 March 2018 11: 17
        +3
        XXXIII
        Copper and copper alloys are very well preserved in the ground, but there is one thing but .... It all depends on what kind of soil the find was in ... The best preserved is everything in sandy soil, sand ...
        In the fields that were being treated with might and main in our time by chemistry at one time, even copper coins of 200 years ago are killed tightly, and even silver coins of 100 years ago ..
        And so, in principle, copper coins of the Dopetrovsky and Petrovsky times are in very good condition ..
        Either earlier copper or copper with impurities are also in good condition ...
        And about the helmet, why did I splinter into so many fragments, the wall thickness of the helmet is not so thick, and so many years have passed ...
        And so the photo shows a beautiful copper patina ...
    5. Operator
      Operator 25 March 2018 18: 19
      +1
      Vard

      The brass cartridge cases even in storage are crushed to pieces under the influence of the so-called lead disease, as well as due to improper heat treatment in the manufacturing process.
  2. Amurets
    Amurets 25 March 2018 06: 50
    +2
    The find was not a whole helmet, but 33 large and 34 small fragments, and most likely, it was wrapped in cloth and placed face down. Since there were no Roman settlements, as they say, it can be assumed that the helmet was buried in the ground at the moment of danger that threatened its owner. But, nevertheless, he still had time to bury him! However, it is quite possible that now thorough archaeological research will be conducted here. However, when will it be? This is only still being said.
    I believe that there is nothing surprising in the finds because the British Isles except the indigenous population: Picts, Itecenes, Celts, who was not there? Roman legions are not only the Romans, and then the Angles, Saxons, Vikings. The works of Rosemary Sutcliffe are written from scratch and the series "The Eagle of the Ninth Legion" series shows this struggle. I am not talking about other authors, there are many of them. Only the series "Everyday Life of the British" in different eras contains several books.
    1. XXXIII
      XXXIII 25 March 2018 08: 17
      +2
      Quote: Amurets
      The find was not a whole helmet, but 33 large and 34 small fragments, and most likely, it was wrapped in cloth and placed face down. Since there were no Roman settlements, as they say, it can be assumed that the helmet was buried in the ground at the moment of danger that threatened its owner. But, nevertheless, he still had time to bury him! However, it is quite possible that now thorough archaeological research will be conducted here. However, when will it be? This is only still being said.
      I believe that there is nothing surprising in the finds because the British Isles except the indigenous population: Picts, Itecenes, Celts, who was not there? Roman legions are not only the Romans, and then the Angles, Saxons, Vikings. The works of Rosemary Sutcliffe are written from scratch and the series "The Eagle of the Ninth Legion" series shows this struggle. I am not talking about other authors, there are many of them. Only the series "Everyday Life of the British" in different eras contains several books.
      But to know the composition of the metal, with which copper was fused, what was the result of a material that withstood more than 16 centuries in damp earth. It's just that nano alloy some .... fellow
      ps. I admit 1% that the helmet was preserved, provided that the helmet was wrapped in cloth that was saturated with whale oil or there were ideal conditions for conservation ...... yes
      1. Curious
        Curious 25 March 2018 09: 15
        +7
        The helmet and visor were cast from an alloy consisting of an average of 82% copper, 10% zinc and 8% tin. Griffon was cast separately from another alloy consisting of 68% copper, 4% zinc, 18% tin and 10% lead. X-ray fluorescence analysis was carried out by the British Museum.
      2. Amurets
        Amurets 25 March 2018 09: 19
        +3
        Quote: XXXIII
        But to know the composition of the metal, with which copper was fused, what was the result of a material that withstood more than 16 centuries in damp earth. It's just some kind of nano alloy ....

        I don’t think it’s just that the helmet fell into such conditions that it could survive. Moreover, it still collapsed into fragments from time to time and the author indicates that 67 fragments of different sizes were found. "Tin bronzes have high strength, elasticity, ductility and corrosion resistance. For the manufacture of membranes it is undesirable to use alloys containing more than 8% tin, since in this case ductility is significantly reduced. "
        http://www.ngpedia.ru/id483774p1.html
  3. Brutan
    Brutan 25 March 2018 08: 36
    +2
    Helmet - a valuable piece of equipment
    Valued what then what now)
    And the big-money buyer subconsciously presents himself as a sort of hero of the past, prancing on a brave horse)
  4. Operator
    Operator 25 March 2018 08: 51
    +2
    The Crosby-Garrett helmet is not ancient Roman, but simply Roman, since it was already made in our era.
  5. cough
    cough 25 March 2018 09: 00
    +11
    I am a professional archaeologist with almost 40 years of scientific excavation. I found bronze helmets twice, although not so chic as this one. Local imitations of the Assyrian helmets of 8-7 centuries. BC. So, they were preserved in different ways, but decently, although they were made of a thin bronze sheet. The author of the article is not quite up to date; pure copper was practically not used. Including the Romans. During the restoration, it was necessary in those places where the metal completely disintegrated to solder thin plates of copper. If the master is good, it worked well. They are now on display at museums in Stavropol and Kislovodsk.
    1. kalibr
      25 March 2018 10: 30
      +1
      Isn't that the Roman helmet of Kulus? Did you find that in the Kislovodsk Museum it’s standing in the window near the floor? No way to take a picture of him ...
      1. cough
        cough 25 March 2018 12: 25
        +8
        No, that helmet, unfortunately, from extortionate excavations, without an exact address. Abkhazia seems. On a separate pedestal, conical, this one is my find near Kislovodsk.
        1. kalibr
          25 March 2018 17: 37
          +1
          I envy! Next year I will definitely be in Pyatigorsk, well, in Kislovodsk too - I will look and try to shoot.
  6. Curious
    Curious 25 March 2018 09: 07
    +3
    The museum offered the buyer to place a helmet on the museum at least for a while, but these negotiations did not bring success.
    Still brought.

    Crosby Garrett Roman Helmet Exhibition.
    From November 1, 2013 to January 26, 2014 he sent to the exhibition at the Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery.
    Prior to this, from September 15 to December 9, 2012 the helmet was exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, and from January 28 to April 27, 2014 at the British Museum.
    1. Curious
      Curious 25 March 2018 09: 43
      +3
      The helmet and visor were cast from an alloy consisting of an average of 82% copper, 10% zinc and 8% tin. Griffon was cast separately from another alloy consisting of 68% copper, 4% zinc, 18% tin and 10% lead. X-ray fluorescence analysis was carried out by the British Museum.
  7. Curious
    Curious 25 March 2018 09: 39
    +6
    It is always interesting to read the conclusions of "experts" about fake.

    RibchesterHelmet - Roman bronze ceremonial helmet of the end of the 1st beginning of the 2nd century of our era. Now on display at the British Museum. It was found in Ribchester, Lancashire, England in 1796, as part of a treasure in which there were about forty items. The son of a local shoemaker found this treasure.
    These are some advanced shoemakers in Britain who already forged Roman helmets in the XNUMXth century.
    1. Monster_Fat
      Monster_Fat 25 March 2018 15: 28
      +1
      It will be fun when it turns out that this is, in fact, a “fake” fake ... as has happened more than once with the sold at Sotheby's, Christie's, Bonems, etc. ....
      1. kalibr
        25 March 2018 17: 33
        +2
        In fact, despite the fact that the number of fakes passes through them, it is surprisingly small. There is a lot of noise, yes, so it seems that there are a lot of fakes. But this is not so in fact. It's just that for our people the topic of fakes and deception is very close. For 74 years they lived in deceit, that they are deceived and imagined everywhere ...
    2. DimanC
      DimanC 25 March 2018 18: 08
      +1
      Interestingly, the tip of the nose was not restored. And the helmet, about which the article is also
  8. DimanC
    DimanC 25 March 2018 18: 05
    +1
    Very suspicious: the price was cut so much that the helmet was guaranteed to go out of sight
    1. Curious
      Curious 25 March 2018 20: 55
      +4
      Do you know the conditions of sale at Sotheby's? In addition, after the purchase, the helmet was displayed three times, including at the British Museum. What is the meaning of a scam? Pay taxes from 2,3 million pounds, pay auction fees and then put up in museums?
  9. Operator
    Operator 25 March 2018 18: 27
    +1
    “Nobody has ever found a Roman helmet near Nizhny Novgorod” - but should they? laughing

    All Europe east of the Elbe and the Danube was for the Romans terra incognita. Moreover, public policy deliberately limited the expansion of Rome to the Mediterranean region, since only its water area provided internal communications of the empire. Attempts to go beyond the Mediterranean, for example, to the British Isles, ended with a negative result.
    1. kalibr
      25 March 2018 21: 13
      +2
      Several units of the Roman army during the war with Mithridates stood in the Crimea and on Taman. But this was the limit of their progress in the Black Sea.
      1. Operator
        Operator 25 March 2018 21: 25
        0
        In fact, the Azov, Black and Mediterranean Seas are considered one marine basin, but the essence is different - Roman garrisons did not stand on the entire territory of the Crimea or Taman Peninsulas (then these territories could be included in the Roman Empire, such as Britain), and in a few Greek fortress ports (outposts) and even then a short time.

        In connection with this circumstance, the Romans did not see beyond their own noses and only knew about the existence of local Iranian-speaking and Turkic-speaking nomadic tribes who had direct contact with the Romans through trade (not counting the Greek colonists, of course).
      2. Curious
        Curious 25 March 2018 21: 45
        +2
        In the 8th edition of the IAISC for 2016, the article "MOBILE GROUPING OF THE ROMAN ARMY IN TAVRIKA AT THE END OF III - V BB.NE"
  10. tank66
    tank66 25 March 2018 21: 33
    0
    But it seems to me that the money is paid for hiding various historical facts-parallels. / I am not from Fomenkivtsi, but the truth is near /. Budenovka on a mask is purely Scythian

    The “bell” by the mask is also Scythian, in Siberia they were dug up in the mounds - Mama Do not Cry. Griffon. For example

    Somehow flickered / and disappeared / information that all enti-aglitsky copper pieces, for the most part, contain copper mined in the South Urals.
    And, separately, I’m interested in the moment in the travel descriptions of the 18th-century traveler Pallas / who is Peter-Simon / when he wonders if the wedding customs - dance, clothes, culinary rituals in Mordovian villages, coincide with those in the Scottish ...
    1. Curious
      Curious 25 March 2018 22: 22
      +3
      "Budenovka on a mask" - a "purely" Phrygian cap - the headdress of the ancient Phrygians, had the shape of a high cap, the top of which fell forward, often equipped with two valves on the ears; found on many ancient statues (especially Paris). Cimmerians and Scythians wore similar hats; they can be seen on Greek images of Scythians, in particular, on the famous golden Scythian hryvnia, made in ancient times by Greek craftsmen for sale in Scythia.