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Artist Culture
Greek, South Italian
Archaic period, c.600–480 BC
525–500 BC
Bronze with ivory and bronze restoration
Excavated in
Metaponto, Basilicata, Magna Graecia, Italy, Europe
Arms & armor, metalwork
Current Location
On View, Gallery 259
19 3/8 x 12 3/4 x 6 3/4 in. (49.2 x 32.4 x 17.1 cm)
Credit Line
Museum Purchase
Contact Us
Object Number
The size of this ram’s head helmet indicates that it was meant to be worn for ceremonial purposes rather than in actual battle. It was made by hammering a single sheet of bronze, which makes it extremely light and unsuitable as actual armor. Additional decoration was added using a series of common metalworking techniques such as repoussée, punching, tracing, and engraving. The ram’s head on top, whose horns, ears, and eyes have been restored, is mirrored by the attached ram’s head cheek pieces. The selection of the ram to adorn a military-style helmet is fitting since the animals have a double-layered skull which helps protect them from injury. Elaborate helmets such as this are quite rare.
Private collection, Basel, Switzerland [1]

- 1949
Adolf Loewi, Los Angeles, California, acquired from private collection

1949 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Adolf Loewi [2]

[1] Per invoice from Adolf Loewi dated November 8, 1949 [SLAM document files].

[2] Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, November 3, 1949.
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