5427 Cumbrian Roman Helmet Appeal

Cumbrian Roman Helmet Appeal

Posted: 2010-09-27

This is not my usual 'event' sort of entry, but rather, an appeal connected to an upcoming event of some significance. If you have an interest in preserving Britain's heritage, read on ... Earlier this year a metal detectorist found a very rare Roman Cavalry Parade Helmet. The helmet is going on sale at auction on 7 October, and Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Carlisle, Cumbria, has launched an urgent public and corporate appeal to help to secure this exceptionally rare artefact for the nation.

The helmet dates from sometime between the end of the 1st to the mid 3rd century AD. The Tullie House Museum wants to purchase the helmet as a centrepiece for its new Roman gallery, due to open in the summer of 2011.

Only two other similar helmets are known in the UK and neither of these is as complete or elaborate as the Cumbrian example. The helmet is made of a copper-alloy and forms a two-piece face mask visor helmet. This type of mask is characterised by idealised (Greek) youthful male faces, mostly clean-shaven, with luxuriant curly and wavy hair.

We have some historical background for how the helmet was likely to have been used. According to Flavius Arrianus, 136 AD, ‘those of high rank or superior horsemanship wear gilded helmets to draw the attention of the spectators. Unlike helmets made for active service, they are made to fit all round the faces of the riders with apertures for the eyes.’

Tullie House needs to raise between £300-400,000 to secure this major Roman artefact and is launching an urgent public and corporate appeal to encourage individuals and businesses to pledge their support now to keep the Cumbrian Roman Helmet in Cumbria.

If this is a cause you'd like to support, please phone the Tullie House Museum on 01228 618743 or donate via the Just Giving website

Tullie House Museum website
Our information on the Tullie House Museum
Christies Auctioneers information on the helmet

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