Collector Chris Levett Is Selling His Huge Trove of Ancient Armor

Collector Chris Levett Is Selling His Huge Trove of Ancient Armor at Chritie's New York, to Fund His Museum's Rebrand.

Jan 5, 2024By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
Collector Chris Levett
The Guttmann Mouse Helmet. Photo courtesy of Christie’s Images Ltd, 2023.


Collector Chris Levett is selling his huge trove of ancient armor. Overall, the pieces come from the Mougins Museum of Classical Art in France. He is selling them at Christie’s New York, in order to finance rebranding of this private institution. The auction starts on January 30, and will comprise 40 lots drawn from the artefacts in the museum. Estimated selling value goes from $3.4 million to $5.1 million.


Collector Chris Levett Sells Around 400 Goods

Collector Chris Levett
A Roman cavalry helmet. Photo courtesy of Christie’s Images Ltd, 2023.


This most recent sale is the Mougins collection’s second selling. This sale is happening after “Ancient to Modern Art from the Mougins Museum of Classical Art, Part I” at Christie’s London. This auction occured on December 2023 and earned $5.4 million. The sale also had some highlights. For example, sculpture by Antony Gormley sold for $924,396. Also, sculpture by Damien Hirst sold for $717,317.


The museum’s former collection shall sell at Christie’s through six auctions in all. The collection includes pieces from ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. There are also the greatest works of Neo-Classicism and recently released modern artwork. There are over 400 goods available for purchase across the six auctions.


Sales Drop
Auctioneer Liang-lin Chen in the Christie’s Shanghai saleroom, selling Lot 112 – 16.02.64 by Zao Wou-ki, sold for CNY 12.4 million ($1,7 million) including fees. Courtesy Christie’s.


But because Levett’s stockpile is the biggest in private ownership, the sale of the antique weapons and armour is significant. “My collecting habits have changed”, Levett explained in October, “so now it’s time to let these go to new homes of people who are busting with enthusiasm about antiquities and classical artworks”. The Guttmann Mouse helmet is his favourite item in the forthcoming sale.

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Estimated Pieces Value

Collector Chris Levett
A Greek bronze Corinthian helmet. Photo courtesy of Christie’s Images Ltd, 2023.


The Guttmann Mouse helmet appears to originate somewhere between 125 and 175 CE. Two tiny mice appear climbing up the rear of the headgear in the layout. It was formerly on display to the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. The museum said the original owner, one Julius Mansuetus, was likely an officer. The expected sales price ranges from $1 million to $1.5 million.


A Roman iron and plated bronze cavalry helmet and a Greek bronze Corinthian helmet are two more valuable pieces that ought to fetch between $300,000 and $500,000. Also, there is a Roman sheet brass helmet of Weisenau type estimated at between $250,000 and $350,000. The projected price range for the Thétis Fragment, a partial Greek bronze back-plate with anatomical engravings, is $150,000 to $250,000.


christie's armor sale
The Thetis Fragment. Photo courtesy of Christie’s Images Ltd, 2023.


The MACM, the Mougins Museum of Classical Art (Musée d’Art Classique de Mougins), private museum inaugurated in June 2011 in the village of Mougins in the Alpes-Maritimes department, France has closed its doors in August 2023 to make way for a new museum, FAMM (Female Artists of the Mougins Museum) opening in June 2024.


















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By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.