A rare pair of Apulian bronze Ankle Greaves, <br><em>ca. 5th - 4th century BCE</em>
A rare pair of Apulian bronze Ankle Greaves, <br><em>ca. 5th - 4th century BCE</em>

A rare pair of Apulian bronze Ankle Greaves,
ca. 5th - 4th century BCE


Regular price$22,000 USD
  • Free USA shipping
    Free international shipping over $5,000

Of Apulian type, each greave hammered from a leaf-shaped sheet of bronze, contoured to the length of the heel, the back rising to mid-calf with three carinations, a central vertical ridge, and two flanking curvilinear ridges moulded to protect the Achilles tendon from slashing blows.  Embossed on each inner side in a teardrop shape to mould over the inner ankle bone (the malleolus medialis), with a less defined but larger rounded outer side for the outer ankle bone (the malleolus lateralis).  The front tapering to rounded edges was held together by lacing through the eyelets on either side.

Much rarer than shin greaves, ankle greaves were not always worn by Greek warriors.  Fewer than fifty have been discovered in the past 150 years, according to Dietrich von Bothmer, The Metropolitan Museum of Art's chairman of the Department of Greek and Roman Art.  Further, the vast majority of Apulian figure ware omits ankle greave imagery, depicting only the shin greaves.  Interestingly, the Greek hero Achilles was killed at Troy by an arrow to the heel, the only vulnerable part of his body.  Because of this myth, and how revered Achilles was by the Greeks, one would think ankle greaves would be more popular among warriors. The fact that they are so rare indicates they were reserved for warriors of extreme importance.

Cf: Dietrich von Bothmer, "Armorial Adjuncts": Metropolitan Museum Journal, v. 24 (1989).

Dimensions: Height: 10 inches (25.4 cm), Width: 6 inches (15.24 cm)

Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall.

Provenance: Private German collection, previously from the collection of Axel Guttman (1944 - 2001), Berlin, acquired in the 1980s, thereafter private Californian collection.

We ship Tuesday to Friday with FedEx and usually same day if your order is received before 2pm. Within the continental USA, packing, shipping and insurance is free. Depending on size and destination, delivery times range from one to five business days.

For overseas shipments we charge a small flat rate which includes packing, preparation of all customs paperwork, insurance and carrier fees in compliance with all USA and International customs requirements.  Overseas shipments are sent using either USPS Priority Mail or FedEx but contact us if you have a shipping preference. International customers are responsible for all duties and taxes. 

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Come Visit Us

Any item from this site may be viewed by appointment at our Washington, DC location

Tuesday - Friday between 11 am - 5 pm.

Phone: 202 342 0518