Tullie House loses the bid at Christie’s
Today the Crosby Garrett Helmet went ‘under the hammer’ at Christie’s. Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery were represented at auction but with unprecedented global interest and a final hammer price of £2,000,000 were unfortunately unable to secure the helmet for Cumbria.
Just over three weeks ago Tullie House embarked on an urgent national public and corporate appeal asking for support to raise funds to help keep the Roman Cavalry Parade Helmet in Cumbria.
The overwhelming generosity and support of funding organisations, companies, other cultural institutions including the British Museum, local schools and most importantly the public, who all pledged their support both financially and in-kind, gave Tullie House the once in a life time opportunity to go to Christie’s to try and secure the acquisition of this rare object.
The response to the appeal had been tremendous, attracting worldwide interest. The public raised over £50,000 which was matched by an anonymous benefactor, who pledged £1 for every £1 donated by the public.
The future of the helmet, whether it will remain in the UK or even be on public display is speculative as the new owner has remained anonymous. Hopefully, the Government will impose an export ban to prevent the helmet being taken abroad.