The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Sallet
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Germany
  • c. 1490
  • Iron or steel
  • Seat height: 22.5 cm
    Length: 48.5 cm, visor to tail
    Weight: 2.26 kg
  • A81
  • European Armoury I
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This helmet is the latest of the three 15th-century sallets in the Wallace Collection and the only one to have a separate visor. It belongs to a group of inexpensive ‘munition’ helmets made for south German light cavalrymen, which today are preserved in a number of different collections around the world, including the Hofjagd -und Rüstkamer, Vienna, and the Royal Armouries, Leeds. The helmets in these other collections retain their original painted decoration, which was used to indicate to which cavalry squadron the wearer belonged, while the Wallace Collection example does not; it would originally have been painted like the others. In keeping with its low-grade, munitions quality, this helmet has been produced with only the minimum amount of work required, since helmets of this form had to be supplied cheaply and in large numbers. Both its shape and finish are extremely rough; it has no turned edges, and the surface has been left unpolished and ‘rough from the hammer.’

    The line of small stitching holes running all the way around the edges of the visor probably indicate that it was once covered in leather.