The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Sallet
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • North Italy
  • c. 1450- c. 1470
  • Steel
  • Height: 23.5 cm
    Weight: 2.041 kg
  • Armourer's mark: Stamped twice
  • A70
  • European Armoury I
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Evolving from the bascinet of the late fourteenth century, the sallet had by the middle of the fifteenth century become the most popular helmet everywhere in Europe for all classes of fighting man. Worn by the high nobility and common soldiery alike, sallets were produced in a number of regional styles according to local demand. They are characterised by a gracefully rounded skull following closely the contours of the head, and a recurved neck guard, sweeping out below the nape. Beyond these common features, they can vary enormously. Italian sallets, or celati, seem to have been direct descendants of the type of Mediterranean bascinet called a barbuta (Wallace Collection A74 is a typical example).

    Three holes on the brow, forming an isosceles triangle, indicates that this fairly typical Italian sallet once included a hinged nasal, an iron or steel bar extending down to protect the middle of the face to the level of the mouth. Although quite narrow, such a nasal provided surprisingly effective protection for the face against the cutting blows of edged weapons.