AN ancient Roman helmet found in a British field by a treasure hunter with a metal detector has sold for 2.3 million pounds ($3.7 million), auctioneers Christie's say.
The "exceptional" bronze cavalry parade helmet dates from the late first century or early second century, and features a well-preserved face mask, locks of curly hair and a griffin atop the cap.
It sold to an anonymous telephone buyer for more than eight times the estimated price after a bidding war between six prospective owners overnight.
"When the helmet was first brought to Christie's and I saw it first hand, I could scarcely believe my eyes," the head of antiquities at Christie's in London, Georgiana Aitken, said.
"This is an exceptional object - an extraordinary and haunting face from the past - and it has captured the imagination and the enthusiasm of everyone who has come to Christie's to admire it over the past few weeks..."